Activists say a coalition of Syrian rebels and hard-line jihadists have seized a strategic village from pro-government forces just 4 miles (6 kilometers) from the contested city of Aleppo.
The Britain-based monitoring group The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at Friday that least 43 insurgents and 30 pro-government fighters died in the battle for Khan Touman.
Aleppo-area opposition media activist Bahaa al-Halaby says the insurgents took control of Khan Touman around 7 a.m.
The offensive signals the reemergence of the powerful Jaish al-Fatah, or Army of Conquest, jihadist coalition in the conflict. It is made up predominantly of militants from al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate, the Nusra Front, and other ultraconservative factions. The Observatory says other non-jihadist rebels fought for Khan Touman on the side of the coalition, too.