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Syria crisis

Foreign extremists kill six pro-regime fighters in northwest Syria

Published: Updated:

Foreign extremists based in Syria’s last stronghold killed at least six regime fighters in an attack Friday in the northwest of the country, a war monitor said.

Four Uzbek fighters were also killed after they sneaked up on regime forces on the southern edge of the extremist-dominated stronghold, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Idlib region, which is home to nearly three million people, is dominated by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate but other rebel and extremist groups are also present.

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An international ceasefire deal has since March 2020 stemmed a Russia-backed regime assault to retake the bastion, though some small extremist groups have refused the agreement and continued to attack pro-Damascus fighters on its edges.

Friday’s attack occurred on the outskirts of the town of Maaret al-Numan, retaken by regime forces in their latest military campaign early last year.

The war in Syria, which began in 2011 with a crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, has left more than half a million people dead and several million displaced.

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