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Regime airstrikes kill 3 people in Idlib, rebels down Russian drone in Ghab Plain

Local | 2019-08-13 16:57:51
Regime airstrikes kill 3 people in Idlib, rebels down Russian drone in Ghab Plain
  (Zaman Al Wasl)- Clashes between regime loyalists and insurgents in rebel-held northwest Syria killed 60 combatants Tuesday, an activist group 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 region.

Fighting in southern Idlib and rural Latakia Tuesday claimed the lives of 29 pro-regime forces as well as 30 jihadists and allied rebels, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

It came as regime warplanes pummeled the Idlib region with air strikes, killing three civilians in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, the Britain-based monitor added.

In their turn, rebels on Tuesday said a Russian drone had fallen in the Ghab Plain in northwestern Hama province.

The three-month offensive has made slower progress than any by Assad since Russia entered the war on his side in 2015, prompting a run of military victories that have brought most of Syria back under his rule.

Rebels fighting to oust him are now concentrated in the northwestern enclave, covering most of Idlib province and parts of Aleppo, Hama and Latakia provinces, though they also have a small presence in the southeast near the border with Jordan.

The northwest offensive has prompted warnings by the United Nations and aid agencies of a new humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people having fled the violence to seek shelter at the border with Turkey.

The regime military air strikes have targeted hospitals, schools, water points, markets, bakeries and other civilian infrastructure, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Syria, Panos Mumtzis, has said.

Since the beginning of northwest Syria offensive late April, regime airstrikes have killed more than 850 civilians and displaced more than 440,000.

The Russian intervention in Syria was officially announced on Sept. 30, 2015, after an official request by the Assad regime for military aid against rebel groups.

Syria's war has killed more than 560,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with a brutal crackdown on anti-regime protests. Zaman Al Wasl, Agencies

Zaman Al Wasl
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