A girl carries a stack of bread on her head as she walks near rubble of damaged buildings in Aleppo's Kalasa district, Syria, April 12, 2019.
A girl carries a stack of bread on her head as she walks near rubble of damaged buildings in Aleppo's Kalasa district, Syria, April 12, 2019.

BEIRUT - Attacks by two jihadist groups killed at least 17 Syrian government troops and militiamen in the northern province of Aleppo early Saturday, a war monitor said.

Thirty others were wounded in the assaults by al-Qaida’s former Syria branch, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), and its ally Hurras al-Deen, which remains affiliated to the global jihadist network, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The attacks in the southern and southwestern countryside of Aleppo province were launched shortly after midnight and triggered clashes that continued until dawn, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.

He said the fighting subsided after Russian aircraft struck jihadist positions in the area, prompting the fighters to pull back.

Eight jihadists were killed, he added.

Russia aircraft also carried out strikes in neighboring Hama province early Saturday, killing five civilians, the Observatory said.

Idlib province, Syria
Monitor: Russian Airstrikes Kill 10 Civilians in Syria's Idlib

Air strikes by Syrian regime ally Russia killed 10 civilians in the jihadist-held northwestern region of Idlib on Friday, a monitor said, as unsuccessful peace talks ended in Kazakhstan.

The raids killed three civilians including a boy on the outskirts of the town of Kafranbel, and seven including a girl in the town of Tal Hawash, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Syria's civil war has killed more than 370,000 people since it started in 2011, and endless rounds of negotiations have failed to stem the bloodshed.

The Damascus regime has won back large parts of the

On Friday, Russian strikes killed 10 civilians in Idlib province, the hub of territory held by the jihadists of HTS in northwestern Syria.

Russia and rebel-backer Turkey in September inked a buffer zone deal to avert a massive government offensive on the Idlib region, but the deal has never been implemented.

The region of some 3 million people has come under increasing bombardment since HTS took full control of it in January.

The latest Russian air raids came after two days of talks on the Syrian conflict between Turkey, Russia and fellow government backer Iran in Kazakhstan earlier this week.

The three governments expressed concern over the growing power of HTS in Idlib and parts of adjacent provinces, and determination to cooperate to eliminate the jihadist group.

The civil war in Syria has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it began with the bloody repression of anti-government protests in 2011.

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