A rebel fighter looks inside a cannon on the frontline of Idlib city in northern Syria March 23, 2015. Picture taken March 23, 2015. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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Syrian insurgents launched a bold three-pronged attack on the city of Idlib Tuesday, seizing territory on the outskirts of the government-held, largely isolated city in the northwest.Government media acknowledged that fierce fighting was underway throughout the day and said that regime forces had killed "dozens" of insurgents east and west of the city. Activists in the town of Qemenas, also in Idlib, reported a separate chlorine attack.Anti-regime activist groups said the insurgents – made up of fighters from the Nusra Front and seven Islamist militias – seized checkpoints, buildings and other areas on the eastern and western outskirts of Idlib.Rebel groups have controlled most the countryside of Idlib province since 2012, while the provincial capital has remained in regime hands.Rayes said a completely different rebel coalition was involved in the southern fighting, namely the Southern Front alliance of mainstream rebel groups and the Islamist al-Muthanna militia – 85 percent the former and 15 percent the latter, with no participation by the Nusra Front.
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