35 killed in clashes between regime forces and Jihadi groups in north-west Syria – Observatory

Syria
A damaged mosque is seen in the besieged town of Douma in eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria, March 1, 2018. REUTERS/ Bassam Khabieh

SYRIA (VOP TODAY NEWS) — Violent clashes between the regime’s forces and jihadi groups, notably the Sham Liberation Organization (formerly the Nusra Front) in northwestern Syria, have killed 35 fighters from both sides within 24 hours, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Monday.

The Sham Liberation Organization controls with other jihadist factions the governorate of Idlib and the countryside of Western Aleppo, Hama Al Shamali and Lattakia in the northeast. The region has been under heavy Syrian and Russian bombardment since the end of last month, although the area is covered by a Russian-Turkish agreement reached last year.

The Observatory reported violent clashes between the forces of the regime on the one hand and the liberation of the Sham and factions of Jihad on the other, in the mountains of the Kurds in the northern Latakia countryside, has been continuing since Sunday and coincides with “Russian raids and continuous bombardment of dozens of missiles and missiles from the forces of the regime.”

The fighting and shelling in 24 hours killed at least 16 elements of the regime, compared to 19 dead from the jihadist factions, according to the observatory.

Areas in the northern Hama and Idlib southern provinces are under intense air and ground bombardment Monday. The Observatory reported two Russian raids targeting a civil defense center in the town of Karnabal, which led to his departure from service.

“The center was targeted with two high-impact missiles directly, causing huge destruction and the departure of several mechanisms of service,” the civil defense official in the Maarat al-Nu’man area told AFP.

He explained that the crew had left the center ten minutes before being targeted on his way to a neighboring town was bombed.

The rockets fired by the factions on the city of Sakbaliyeh, a Christian majority in the northern Hama countryside Monday killing one civilian and wounding five others, according to the observatory.

The official Syrian news agency reported the same result.

The regime’s forces were able to advance in the northern villages of Hama, where they took control of several villages and towns, most notably Kabarbanda. Damascus has not officially announced the start of a large-scale attack on Idlib and its surroundings, but official media keep up with the progress of the regime’s forces.

The region is subject to a Russian-Turkish agreement reached in September, which stipulates the establishment of a “demilitarized zone” separating the areas controlled by the regime and factions. However, implementation has not yet been completed.

The deal succeeded in establishing relative calm until the forces of the regime and then its ally Russia began bombing it from February.

The intensification of Damascus and Moscow has prompted the pace of bombing since the end of last month tens of thousands of civilians displaced from the targeted areas.

The commander-in-chief of the Sham Liberation Organization Abu Muhammad al-Julani said in an interview published Sunday, “any capable of carrying weapons .. to go to the battlefield,” adding that the recent bombing campaign “announced the death of all previous conventions and conferences and showed that” Military force only”.

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