Over 40 Killed as al-Qaeda Launches New NW Syria Offensives

Syrian forces have reclaimed several of the villages in counter-offensive

After weeks of relative calm in northwestern Syria’s Idlib Province, a new round of fighting has erupted, with al-Qaeda and its allies pushing into areas around their remaining holdings, and capturing a number of villages and other strategic locations.

At least 41 fighters were killed in the course of this, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, with 22 al-Qaeda side fighters and 19 troops reported slain. While these were some of the biggest losses for Syria in awhile, the affair didn’t last long.

Backed by Russian airstrikes, the Syrian military had already launched a counter-attack against the morning offensive by the afternoon. They had already retaken a number of the lost villages, and seem set to reclaim the rest soon.

While Turkey tends to get furious when any Syrian counter-offensive moves beyond retaking what was just lost, it’s likely that they will want to push back further and deeply weaken al-Qaeda forces, that remain a big problem entering the post-war era.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.