Syria: Clashes between government troops and HTS fighters leave many dead
Recent clashes in northwest Syria between government troops and jihadist fighters affiliated with Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS) left many dead and injured on both sides, North Press Agency reported on Saturday.
Ten Syrian troops and three HTS fighters were killed or injured in the clashes in the northern countryside of the government-held city of Latakia, south of Idlib that is under the control of HTS. Latakia is the home of Russia's electronic eavesdropping facility set up in the Khmeimim Air Base.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) confirmed the clashes, putting the fatalities at eleven, with seven Syrian troops and four HTS members killed in the HTS attack on government positions on Talat al-Burkan frontline in Jabal al-Akrad.
HTS attacks have come a few days after the withdrawal of Turkish forces from their post in Qastoun, SOHR said.
A total of 56 Syrian troops and 20 HTS fighters have been killed in clashes between the sides since early January, according to SOHR reports.
HTS, formerly named al Nusra Front, is an Al Qaeda offshoot and has large of parts of the Idlib governarate under its control.