100 fighters killed in 48 hours in northwest Syria: Monitor

AFP , Thursday 20 Jun 2019

Fighting raged in northwest Syria on Thursday as clashes between Syrian army and jihadist-led fighters killed more than 100 combatants in two days, a war monitor said.

The Idlib region, home to some three million people, is supposed to be protected by a months-old international truce deal, but it has come under increased bombardment by the Syrian army and its Russian ally since late April.

On the southwestern edges of the jihadist-run enclave, strikes and fierce fighting since Tuesday killed 75 anti-regime fighters and left 29 dead on the government side, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

This included at least 14 anti-regime fighters and 19 pro-government forces killed early Thursday, it said.

The fighting has centred around Tal Meleh in the north of Hama province, according to the Britain-based monitoring group.

"The clashes are ongoing," with both Syrian and Russian war planes pounding the area, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

On Wednesday, 16 civilians were killed in regime bombardment on several parts of the rebel region, he said.

Russia and rebel backer Turkey brokered an agreement intended to stave off an all-out regime assault on Idlib in September, but that deal was never fully implemented as jihadists refused to withdraw from the planned buffer zone.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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