BEIRUT – Syrian rebels and the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front have mounted an offensive against Syrian government forces and on Saturday took a strategic hill south of Aleppo from government control, a monitoring group said.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the offensive began on Friday, and Syrian government and allied forces were fighting to take back control of the territory and repel further attacks. Friday’s attack began with three suicide bombings carried out by Nusra Front south of Talat al-‘Iss hill. Rebel and Nusra Front forces then took control of the hill, the Observatory and a Nusra Front statement said. Nusra Front said in the statement it ambushed government forces as they withdrew towards the town of Hadhar to the east. The Observatory said the fighting has so far killed dozens of regime forces and at least 16 rebels and Nusra Front members.