Rebels have cemented their control of Syria’s northern frontier with Turkey after fierce clashes with the army, as their bastions in other parts of the country came under heavy shelling.
As the fighting raged, Syrian state television said government forces had pushed rebels out of two of their strongholds in Damascus province, Qudsaya and Hameh, where a watchdog says the bodies of 10 men were found.
With tension spiking along the Syrian-Turkey frontier, after a Syrian shell smashed into a Turkish town last Wednesday killing five civilians, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says rebels seized the town of Khirbat al-Joz in the northwest province of Idlib after a pitched battle with regime troops.
The British-based watchdog says of Saturday’s battle the clashes at Khirbat al-Joz ended when fighters of the rebel brigades took control of the area, but at least 40 regular forces died, including five officers, as well as nine rebel fighters.
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