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Syrian regime forces advance, sustain heavy losses, as refugees flee Jisr al-Shughour Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Syrian regime forces advance, sustain heavy losses, as refugees flee Jisr al-Shughour

The aftermath of the airstrike on Jisr al-Shughour which killed 16 civilians (Getty)

Date of publication: 16 May, 2019

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Regime forces captured a village in opposition-held northern Hama province on Wednesday, while sustaining 15 casualties. Refugees are fleeing the city of Jisr al-Shughour following a massacre on Tuesday.

Syrian regime forces today captured the village of Huweiz in Hama province while sustaining heavy losses in clashes with rebels from the National Liberation Front (NLF).

The New Arab’s affiliate Syria TV reported that 15 regime troops were killed in clashes in Huweiz with the NLF, which is a Turkish-backed coalition of rebel groups affiliated with the Free Syrian Army.

The NLF rebels also managed to destroy two tanks.

The regime managed to capture the village, however, with heavy support from the Russian air force. Clashes are ongoing around the village.

Another rebel group, the formerly Al-Qaeda affiliated Hayat Tahrir al-Sham said it had killed four regime troops and injured seven others after regime forces shelled and tried to advance on the village of Kabana in Latakia province in northwestern Syria.

The Syrian regime, supported by Russian aircraft, has waged a fierce campaign to capture opposition-held territory in northern Syria since April 30, killing dozens of civilians and forcing 150,000 to flee. This is despite a ceasefire which was agreed in September 2018 and guaranteed by Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

On Tuesday, regime aircraft struck a market in the city of Jisr al-Shughour near the Turkish border just before the Ramadan fast-breaking meal at sunset, killing 16 people. The New Arab’s correspondent reported that the city was in a state of shock and people were fleeing.

In regime-controlled southern Syria, clashes broke out in the town of Sanamein in Daraa province when regime troops stormed the town to arrest a former commander of the Free Syrian Army. Three regime troops and the commander’s brother was killed, while the commander who wasn’t at home, escaped capture.

In 2018, Daraa province, most of which was under opposition control since 2011, returned to regime control after local rebels reached an agreement with the regime guaranteeing their safety. Since then, however, the regime has been arresting former rebels and activists in the province, leading to local resistance.

More than half a million people have been killed in the Syrian conflict since 2011, after the brutal suppression of peaceful protests by the Assad regime. Most of the casualties have been as a result of regime bombing of civilian areas.

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