Beirut: Clashes between regime loyalists and insurgents in rebel-held northwest Syria killed 59 combatants on Tuesday, a war monitor said.
Hayat Tahrir Al Sham (HTS), a terrorist group led by Syria’s former Al Qaida 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 region.
Fighting in southern Idlib and rural Latakia on Tuesday claimed the lives of 29 pro-government forces as well as 30 terrorists and allied rebels, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
It came as regime warplanes pummelled the Idlib region with air strikes, killing three civilians in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, the Britain-based monitor added.
Regime forces and anti-government fighters have been caught in fierce battles in the region for days, as the former presses with an advance toward a strip straddling the Hama and Idlib governorates.
Last Sunday, regime forces seized the town of Al Habeet in Idlib’s southern countryside, in their first major ground advance in the province since an escalation of offensives on the terrorist-dominated enclave more than three months ago.