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Rebels kill 27 regime fighters in northwest Syria: Monitor

AFP  |  Beirut 

Rebels and Islamist forces killed more than two dozen pro-government fighters in a joint attack in a northwestern stronghold of Syrian Bashar al-Assad's regime, a monitor said today.

In retaliation, the government and its ally pounded rebel-held areas in the coastal province of and neighbouring today, killing four civilians, the for Human Rights said.

It was the bloodiest opposition assault on the area in three years, according to the Britain-based monitor, which relies on a network of sources inside the country.

The surprise offensive late yesterday targeted a pair of villages and observation points in 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 "They took and kicked out regime forces from several observation points after killing or wounding them."

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

lies about two kilometres (just over a mile) south of the Turkish border.

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

is the heartland of Assad's regime on the Mediterranean coast, and is home to the Hmeimim airbase where Russian troops and warplanes have been based since 2015.

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 neighbouring province of

The regime and bombarded that strip of land and parts of western with air strikes and artillery fire today, killing four civilians, the monitor said.

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

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 10 2018. 18:45 IST