DAMASCUS, Syria, The ultra-radical rebel groups, attacked Syrian military positions in the planned demilitarised zone in northern Syria on Friday, killing nine soldiers, a war monitor group reported.
The rebels attacked the Syrian positions in the al-Ghab Plains, in the northern countryside of Hama near Idlib province, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Five of the rebels were killed in the Friday showdown, which is the latest breach to the Russian-Turkish demilitarised zone deal, which went into force in Sept, to ease the situation in Idlib and surrounding rebel-held areas, as Idlib is the last major rebel stronghold in Syria.
The Britain-based watchdog group said 31 Syrian soldiers and allied forces have been killed, since the demilitarised zone deal went into effect in Sept.
While the deal is entering its third month, the observatory said, the situation is heated in the demilitarised zone, as the ultra-radical rebels and the government forces are preparing for an "unclear future."
The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the umbrella group of the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, is also consolidating positions and fortifying its areas, while opening the doors for volunteers to join the ranks of its fighters in Idlib.
The planned demilitarised zone includes areas in Idlib, which is the last major rebel stronghold in north-western Syria, as well as, adjacent countryside areas of the provinces of Hama, Latakia, and Aleppo.
The Hayat Tahrir al-Sham is considered as the most powerful among the rebel groups in Idlib province.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK