Clashes Kill 55 Combatants In Northwest Syria: Monitor
Umer Jamshaid 9 days ago Sat 10th August 2019 | 11:11 PM
Clashes between regime loyalists and insurgents in northwest Syria killed 55 combatants on Saturday, as government forces continued to nibble away at territory held by its opponents, a war monitor said
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a jihadist group led by Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate, has since January controlled most of Idlib province as well as parts of neighbouring Hama, Aleppo and Latakia provinces.
Several other armed rebel groups also operate in the area.
Fighting in various parts of the region on Saturday claimed the lives of 23 pro-government forces as well as 32 jihadists and allied rebels, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The regime also launched dozens of air strikes against northern Hama and southern Idlib, the Britain-based monitor added.
They aim to capture Kafr Zita -- one of the largest towns in northern Hama -- and the nearby village of Al-Latamneh from jihadists and rebels, said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.
Regime forces have closed in Kfar Zeita and Latamneh over the past week, after capturing a string of nearby towns and villages, the Observatory said.
They are also trying to surround the nearby town of Khan Sheikoun in order to wrest it from the jihadists, Abdel Rahman said.
Syria's conflict has killed a total of more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it started with the brutal repression of anti-government protests in 2011.