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    At least 180 regime troops killed in 5 weeks: activists

    Zaman A Wasl | 2018-01-12 08:08:01
    At least 180 regime troops killed in 5 weeks: activists

    (Zaman Al Wasl)- At least 180 Syria troops and militiamen were killed in five weeks  as the regime backed by Russia air force is pushing to take major rebel stronghold in Idlib and Hama provinces, according to activists.

    At least 75 regime troops were killed on Thursday when rebels launched a counterattack against regime forces and their allies in the southern countryside of  Idlib.

    More than 119,000 pro-regime forces have been killed, including 62,000 troops, tens of thousands of loyalist militiamen, and 1,556 fighters from Hezbollah, according to a new estimate by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    The Alawites-dominated areas still the main manpower supply for Bashar al-Assad's regime. The mourning posters and statements have been sweeping the streets and pro-regime social media.

    Most of the troops had been killed by Daesh (ISIS), FSA, and Tahrir al-Sham in Deir Ezzor, Eastern Ghouta suburbs, Hama and Idlib provinces.

    Rebels said they had captured some 15 villages and seized 60 government fighters, but military source denied to Reuters such news and dismissed rebel talk of a counter attack as propaganda. The source said fierce battles were however underway in the area and army advances were continuing.

    The move followed rapid gains by the regime forces who are approaching a sprawling rebel-held air base in the northwestern province from different directions.

    Idlib province is the biggest chunk of Syria still held by rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, with a population swollen by Syrians who have fled government advances in other parts of the country. Assad has defeated rebels in many parts of western Syria with critical help from Russia and Iran.

    The Assad troops are pushing north from a corner of the adjacent province of Hama, as well as from Aleppo province to Idlib's east. They have seized around 40 towns and villages across the three provinces in recent weeks, according to AFP.

    Since the "de-escalation zone" deal went into effect in May, hundreds of children have been killed and wounded in Idlib and Hama. But after almost five months of calm, fighters loyal to Bashar al-Assad have ramped up operations to reach Idlib.



    Keywords:  Syria Russia
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