MIDDLE EAST

Syrian opposition launches operation against regime

File photo

Syria's armed opposition launched an operation Monday against Assad regime controlled regions around Turkmen Mountain in Latakia governorate, said its commander.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Jabal al-Islam Commander Zahir Abu Usama said Russia is "intensely attacking Idlib".

"In order to alleviate these attacks, we have launched an operation around Turkmen Mountain in regime controlled Sarraf town and around the region," he said.

Usama said they had seized the villages of Villa and Kapikaya in Sarraf which where under the regime's control.

It was also reported that a large number of regime soldiers were killed during the sudden attacks by the armed opposition.

According to information gathered from local sources, Russian and regime warplanes attacked Turkmen Mountain after the opposition's operation.

Syria has been locked in a devastating civil war since March 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

While UN officials say hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, Syrian regime officials say the death toll is closer to 10,000.

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