War monitor said that Syrian regime forces and insurgents fought fierce battles that left dozens dead in the country's northwest, as the regime tried to regain control of two villages they lost earlier this month.
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the civlians, including two children, were killed on the outskirts of Maaret al Numan town and in the villages of Kansafra and Khan al Subul.
Clashes ensued when Russian-backed regime forces tried to retake two villages seized by militants and allied rebels earlier this month.
The State Department said it was assessing indications that the regime used chemical weapons on Sunday during its offensive in Idlib, the most significant remaining holdout of rebels.
Turkey on Thursday deported Johanna Cornelia Boersma for her suspected links to Jabhat al Nusra, a terrorist group with historic links to Al Qaeda, a senior official of the Turkish presidency said.
Days of fighting between the Hayat Tahrir al Sham (HTS) alliance and Turkey-backed National Liberation Front (NLF) ended after the parties reached a ceasefire agreement in Idlib.
The assault on Idlib has been prevented, for now. The only way to prevent a future offensive, though, will be to get the US, Turkey and NATO on a united track.
As Tehran talks failed to reach consensus regarding Assad's plans to attack Idlib, locals in the region are staring at a possible bloodbath with no place to hide.
Comments from Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov came after his meeting with Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir in Moscow.
Syrian revolutionaries have survived the Assad regime, Russia and Iran. They have also made several mistakes over the last seven years. But the main reason the revolution has failed is because the world has repeatedly failed Syrians.
The Assad regime's offensive against one of the last opposition enclaves in the country is having a devastating impact on civilians forced by war and conflict to relocate within Syria.
Despite a de-escalation zone agreement brokered by Turkey, Russia and Iran, Bashar al Assad's regime forces continue to target the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta.
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