Over 70 foreign-backed militants have been killed in recent clashes with Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters in the western-central Hama province, a UK-based monitoring group says.
During the last 72 hours of clashes, at least 73 Takfiri militants have been killed in the Sahl al-Ghab region, AFP quoted Rami Abdel Rahman, the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, as saying on Sunday.
The fighting began last Monday, when al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front militants seized over a dozen strategic hilltops and other positions, including a power station, before being pushed back by Syrian troops and the Lebanese resistance movement fighters.
“In the past three days, the army has been able to take back nearly 50 percent of the areas it had lost,” said Abdel Rahman, alleging that at least 42 Syrian soldiers and Hezbollah fighters were also killed the clashes.
The ground battle continues along with heavy rocket and missile fire from both sides while Syrian military planes keep targeting militant positions in the region, he noted.
Earlier in the day, at least 20 terrorists were killed during Syrian assaults against militant hideouts in the western province of Latakia.
Syria has been facing a massive foreign-sponsored militancy for the past four years. The conflict has reportedly killed an estimated 230,000 people so far, including nearly 11,500 children.