Air strikes break truce in Syria’s northwest: Report

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Military jets on Monday bombed several villages in opposition-held northwestern Syria in the first such air strikes since a Turkish-Russian deal produced a ceasefire over three months ago that halted major fighting.

The strikes hit villages in the Jabal al-Zawiya region in the southern part of Idlib province and two towns in the Sahel al-Ghab plain, west of Hama province, witnesses said.

Hundreds of civilians fled, fearing a wider resumption of air strikes in Syria’s last opposition bastion, the witnesses said.

Meanwhile an extremist group active in northwest Syria launched an offensive Monday, capturing two villages and killing 19 regime forces, a war monitor said.

“Factions led by Hurras al-Deen launched an assault on two villages in Sahl al-Ghab,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

They seized the villages of Al-Fatatra and Al-Manara, in Hama province, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.

He said the clashes left 19 government soldiers and six extremists dead.

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