Insurgents who captured the last government-held town in Syria’s Idlib province celebrated inside on Friday and made more advances in surrounding areas, in a further blow to the stretched army and allied militia. The “Army of Fatah” alliance which includes al Qaeda’s Syria wing Nusra Front, the Islamist Ahrar al-Sham group and other factions, captured Ariha town on Thursday night as the Syrian military pulled back. The army has lost large parts of the northwestern province to insurgents since late March, when the provincial capital fell to Army of Fatah, a name which refers to Islamic conquest. The recent advances have brought insurgents closer to the coastal Latakia province, President Bashar al-Assad’s ancestral homeland and an area of importance to his government. The army and allied militia have increasingly focused on defending Syria’s western flank which includes Latakia, Homs city and Damascus further south. By Friday the insurgents […]