People inspect a site hit by what residents said were airstrikes carried out by the Russian air force in the town of Turmanin, in Idlib Governorate near the Syrian-Turkish border, January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah
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Syrian regime forces were close to capturing a rebel stronghold in the southern province of Deraa Monday, backed by Russian airstrikes, the Observatory and state media said.Elsewhere, militant fighters and civilians were killed in a missile strike in northwest Syria during a meeting between rebel groups.It also lies about 12 kilometers from the rebel stronghold of Nawa, another key target for regime forces.Last month, government troops captured the Brigade 82 base outside the town, and they have since been pushing to capture Sheikh Miskeen.At least 11 Islamist fighters and five civilians were killed as a ballistic missile struck a building in northwest Syria during a meeting between rebel groups, the Observatory said Monday.The activist group said it was unclear if the missile was fired by Russian or Syrian forces.The spokesman for the Syria Democratic Forces, Talal Selo, said Monday the U.S.-backed alliance of Syrian Arab and Kurdish fighters is expanding the landing field of an agricultural airport in eastern Syria with the purpose of using it to receive humanitarian aid in the future.
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