Syrian pro-government forces patrol an area in the Sahl al-Ghab, in Hama province, on June 7, 2015. AFP/STR
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Insurgents have regained control of several villages in northwest Syria from government forces and have advanced beyond them, edging closer to a coastal stronghold of President Bashar Assad, an activist group and other sources said Sunday.The insurgents launched a counteroffensive after government forces, backed by allied militant groups, last week recaptured the villages on the Sahl al-Ghab plain, which lies close to the city of Hama and is crucial to the defense of coastal mountains that are the heartland of Assad's Alawite sect minority. Seven government warplanes and helicopters carried out 80 strikes on the villages located on the plain, the Observatory added.The ensuing clashes, which continued throughout Sunday, killed 37 rebel fighters and 10 ISIS militants, Abdel-Rahman added.Saturday, U.S.-led forces conducted 16 airstrikes in Iraq and seven in Syria against ISIS targets, the U.S. military said.
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