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War Monitor: 39 fighters killed in battles between Syria regime and armed rebels in Idlib

Drone photo shows smoke billowing from Maarat Al-Numan district after hit by Assad Regime forces' airstrikes in Idlib, Syria on 11 January 2020. [İzzeddin İdilbi - Anadolu Agency]
Drone photo shows smoke billowing from Maarat Al-Numan district after hit by Assad Regime forces' airstrikes in Idlib, Syria on 11 January 2020. [İzzeddin İdilbi - Anadolu Agency]

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced on Thursday that at least 39 fighters have been killed during clashes between the Syrian regime forces and armed rebels, in the Idlib governorate.

“Clashes broke out around midnight on Wednesday, south of the city of Maarat Al-Numan, together with heavy bombardment despite the Russian-Turkish truce,” disclosed Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The observatory revealed that 22 armed rebels, mainly from Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (formerly Jabhat Al-Nusra) along with 17 government troops and allied militia, were killed in the fighting.

The Syrian regime forces have controlled at least two villages only seven kilometres away from Maarat Al-Numan, the city that, according to the United Nations, is almost empty of its residents.

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At least 18 civilians, including two children and a white helmets member, were killed in airstrikes launched by the Syrian regime forces on Idlib city.

Russia and Turkey announced a ceasefire in Idlib, which Moscow reported begins on Thursday, while Turkey told that it began on Sunday.

The Syrian regime forces and Russia have in recent weeks intensified their airstrikes on Idlib, despite a ceasefire agreement that went into effect in August.

Since December, the United Nations has documented the displacement of about 350,000 civilians, mainly from Idlib to safer areas.

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