People chant slogans as they hold Syrian flags in Umm al-Mayazen, in the countryside of Deraa, Syria, July 10, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki
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Syrian regime forces bombed villages and towns in the northwestern province of Idlib Tuesday after a surprise attack by insurgents that reportedly killed two-dozen soldiers, activists said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the government bombardment targeted half a dozen rebel-held villages in the northwestern Idlib province, killing at least five civilians.The government assault came hours after rebels in Idlib seized the village of Ateera near the border with Turkey in a surprise attack.Similar agreements elsewhere in the country have collapsed in the face of government offensives, and the government is expected to advance on Idlib province once it has secured other areas.Rebel leaders from Deraa city met Russian officers in the town of Busra al-Sham Tuesday, a rebel official, Abu Shaima, said.Separately, a suicide car bombing Tuesday killed eight newly reconciled fighters from pro-government and rebel ranks in an attack targeting a military position in Zeizoun, a village in the western countryside of Deraa province, claimed by Daesh (ISIS).
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