A coalition of Islamic rebel groups active in Idlib continue to ward off government forces in various parts of the contested province, reportedly taking swaths of the strategic Arbain Mountain on May 13. The mountain overlooks the city of Ariha, the last regime-held city in Idlib, which was seized in 2013, to secure a supply route from coastal Latakia.
Footage from coalition member group al-Sham Brigades shows the militants following their capture of parts of Arbain Mountain. A rebel leader can be heard saying the coalition plans to close in on Ariha. The takeover came after the militants, including al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra, seized the province’s capital city on March 28 2015, prompting intensive counter-attacks from the Asad regime.
Rebel groups had made an unsuccessful advance on the strategic outlook mountain in January 2015. Credit: فيلق الشام (al-Sham Brigades)