Beirut, Aug 28 (EFE).- At least 26 people have died in fierce armed clashes between government forces and Islamist insurgents in northwest Syria, an opposition war monitor said on Monday.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the dead included 19 regime soldiers and seven fighters of al-Qaeda-linked Ansar Al-Tawhid militant group.
The violent clashes in the northwestern province of Idlib began on Saturday when insurgents stormed army positions.
Ansar al-Tawhid fighters targeted several positions of the government forces in the region after “the detonation of tunnels followed by missile and artillery.”
The war monitor said the Islamist insurgents took control of several government positions after inflicting casualties on the troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The government forces attempted multiple times to regain the lost territory, sparking fierce battles.
“The Russian warplanes intervened on the front line, coinciding with several attempts by the regime forces to regain control of the posts they lost,” the monitor said.
The Russian warplanes launched four airstrikes, targeting regions in the southern countryside of Idlib.
Russia, an ally of the al-Assad government in Damascus, often provides air support to the Syrian army in anti-insurgency operations.
The Arab country has been at war since the 2011 uprising against President al-Assad.
Syrians began to rise against the authoritarian government on Mar.15, 2011.
The protests soon developed into country-wide massive demonstrations as part of the Arab Spring movement sweeping the Middle East.
Assad’s government launched a brutal crackdown, drawing flak from many countries opposing his regime.
The Syrian president resisted international pressure and stayed in power.
His forces managed to recapture most of the regions from the opposition’s control during the armed conflict. EFE