Pro-Turkish fighters killed in northwest Syria clashes: Monitor

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Eight Turkey-backed Syrian fighters were killed in clashes with regime troops that raged Monday in the country’s northwest, a rebel alliance said.

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A statement from the Faylaq al-Sham group said six of its fighters were killed and three more wounded in an offensive launched by Syrian government forces backed by Kurdish fighters from Sunday night.

It later said two more fighters had been killed in the clashes in the Afrin region near the Turkish border, bringing the death toll to eight.

Faylaq al-Sham is an alliance of pro-Turkey rebel groups considered close to the Syrian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The fighting died down early Monday evening, an AFP correspondent said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a wide network of sources on the ground, said the regime troops and Kurdish forces took control of two Faylaq al-Sham positions in intense fighting involving heavy weapons.

Exchanges of fire occur regularly between Syrian regime forces and pro-Turkish rebels who control part of the border.

Faylaq al-Sham has taken part in Turkish army offensives launched since 2016 in northern Syria, mainly against Kurdish fighters.

Monday’s fighting was unrelated to recent Turkish threats to launch a ground offensive in northern Syria, several sources told AFP.

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