Beirut: Fighting between Syrian regime forces and Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists and their allies has left 73 dead, south of the battleground city of Aleppo.
A rebel fighter from the Jaish al-Fatah brigades fires artillery during clashes with Syrian forces near the village of Om al-Krameel in Syria. Pic/AFP
Al-Nusra Front and allied Islamists seized Khan Tuman and surrounding villages after less than 24 hours of clashes, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
"At least 43 Al-Nusra and allied fighters, including a local commander, and 30 on the side of the regime and allied militia were killed in the battle," said the British-based Observatory, which relies on a network of sources in Syria.
Pro-regime troops had driven the jihadists out of Khan Tuman, located about 10 kilometres southwest of Aleppo, in December. "The recapture of the area and surrounding villages means that the regime's lines of defence south of the country's second city have been pushed back," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.