Scores of Syrian regime loyalists killed in rebel ambush
Syrian rebels have killed a number of regime soldiers in northern Syria as the government forces attempted to advance on opposition-held areas.
An opposition military commander told the Al-Jazeera news network that five regime soldiers were killed in a rebel ambush in the village of Bab al-Taqa in western Hama province.
Another rebel commander told the German Press Agency that 25 pro-regime fighters, mostly from Hizballah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard had been killed by rebels when they tried to advance on the rebel held Jabal Al-Akrad area of Latakia province.
One civilian was killed and several wounded in regime bombing of Sheir Maghar in northern Hama province. The bombing targeted a Turkish observation post in the area which had previously been attacked twice by the regime since April 26.
The regime offensive against rebel-held areas in northern Syria began on April 30 and has since captured the strategic towns of Kafr Nabouda and Qalat al-Madiq from the rebels.
Dozens of Syrians have been killed in airstrikes by the regime and its ally Russia against civilian areas and facilities and more than 150,000 have been displaced. This is despite the September 2018 Sochi agreement establishing a ceasefire guaranteed by Russia, Turkey and Iran.
On Monday, regime forces captured the villages of Tall Huwash and Jabriya in northern Hama province amid continuing airstrikes. Syrian regime media said that it had destroyed multiple positions belonging to former Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in southern Idlib province.
On Sunday, HTS chief Abu Mohammad Al-Jolani urged his followers to take up arms to defend Idlib province against increased bombardment.
In January 2019, HTS became the dominant group in Idlib province after conflict with the more moderate rebel groups of the National Liberation Front (NLF) coalition.
One NLF commander, Ali Sheikh Yusuf, was killed on Monday after a bomb exploded in his car in southern Idlib province.
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