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Rebel attack in Latakia kills 27 regime fighters: activist group

Local | 2018-07-10 12:26:00
Rebel attack in Latakia kills 27 regime fighters: activist group
   Latakia- Getty Images
More than two dozen pro-regime fighters were killed in northwestern Syria overnight in a joint attack by rebel and Islamist forces, an activist group said Tuesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the surprise offensive late Monday targeted a pair of villages and observation points in the coastal province and regime stronghold of Latakia, near the Turkish border.

"At least 27 regime forces and allied fighters, including eight officers, were killed in fierce clashes and shelling in the village of Al-Ateira," said Observatory head Rami Abdel-Rahman.

"They took Al-Ateira and kicked out regime forces from several observation points after killing or wounding them."

Another 40 regime loyalists were wounded and six rebels were killed, he said.

The death toll made the attack the bloodiest opposition assault on the area in three years, according to the Observatory.

Al-Ateira lies about two kilometers south of the Turkish border.

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

More than 125,000 pro-regime forces have been killed in seven years of brutal war, according to local monitoring groups.

The Britain-based Observatory said the opposition fighters included local rebels from Latakia as well as more hardline forces.

Latakia is a stronghold of Bashar Assad and is home to the Hmeimim military airport, where Russian troops and warplanes have been based since 2015.

But forces opposed to Assad have repeatedly attacked the province since the uprising broke out in March 2011. They hold a northeastern sliver of territory bordering the neighboring province of Idlib.

That area falls under a de-escalation deal agreed last year between Russia, fellow regime backer Iran, and rebel ally Turkey.

(With AFP)

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