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.
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.