A man looks down at an unexploded barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at a cemetery in the al-Qatanah neighbourhood of Aleppo March 27, 2014. (REUTERS/Mahmoud Hebbo)
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Government forces Thursday bombarded rebel positions with artillery and warplanes in the coastal province of Latakia, trying to push back opposition fighters who over the past week made gains in President Bashar Assad's ancestral heartland.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 13 rebels, among them six non-Syrians, were killed in the strikes or in clashes in northern Latakia province, while 23 government troops and paramilitaries died in the fighting. The governor's office for Turkey's Hatay province said no one was hurt by the shell, which was fired during fighting between Syrian regime and opposition forces over the predominantly Armenian town of Kasab.Fierce clashes were ongoing as the army tried to wrestle back Kasab and nearby village of Nabaain, both seized by the rebels.A field commander speaking to reporters in Misherfeh said the army was making progress against the opposition fighters.The military rushed in fighters from a pro-government militia and warplanes to bolster troops in the counteroffensive.
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