DAMASCUS, June 15 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian forces on Sunday fully recaptured a northern border town near Turkey after eliminating large numbers of "terrorists," the state news agency SANA reported.
The government forces have restored security and stability to Kasab, a strategic town in the northern coastal province of Latakia on the borders with Turkey, SANA said.
A day earlier, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front and other like-minded groups pulled back from Kasab as the Syrian troops, backed by the Lebanese Hezbollah group, advanced toward Kasab after recapturing areas adjacent to Kasab.
The rebels stormed the border town last March. The Syrian government then accused Turkey of allowing the jihadists into the war-torn country.
The battles in the countryside of Latakia are strategically important as the area is the ancestral home place of President Bashar al-Assad's family and a stronghold of his Alawite minority sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam.