Syrian Rebels Kill 10 Pro-Regime Fighters In Deadliest Attack In Years: Monitor

The 2020 truce agreement has held despite sporadic attacks from both sides. (Figurative)

Beirut, Lebanon:

Syrian rebels killed 10 pro-regime fighters in northern Syria today, in the deadliest attack since a truce agreement was reached more than two years ago, a war monitor said.

It was not immediately clear whether the attack was carried out by the area’s dominant jihadist group, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), or other rebel forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The attackers fired an anti-tank guided missile at a bus carrying pro-regime fighters back to their home villages, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

He said six rebel fighters have been killed this month in similar attacks carried out by regime soldiers or allied militias.

Today’s death toll was the highest reported in pro-government ranks from a rebel attack since a truce deal brokered by key foreign powers Russia and Turkey in March 2020.

Before Russia intervened in the Syrian conflict, the regime of President Bashar al-Assad controlled barely a fifth of the national territory.

With the support of Russia and Iran, Damascus regained much of the ground lost in the early stages of the conflict, which erupted in 2011 when the government brutally cracked down on pro-democracy protests.

The latest pocket of armed opposition to the regime includes large swaths of Idlib province and parts of neighboring Aleppo, Hama and Latakia provinces.

The HTS, led by former members of the former Syrian Al-Qaeda franchise, is the dominant group in the area, but other rebel groups, with varying degrees of Turkish backing, are also active.

The 2020 truce agreement has held despite sporadic attacks from both sides, including continued Russian airstrikes.

Turkey was eager to cement its influence in northern Syria and prevent a new phase of fighting in the conflict that could have caused an unprecedented wave of refugees to flood its border.

Turkey hosts more than 3.6 million Syrian refugees and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, facing mounting public anger over the issue, suggested his government would encourage a million of them to return.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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