Syrian militants capture government-held areas, dozens dead

BEIRUT – Militants have captured two villages from Syrian government forces and their allies in the northern province of Aleppo after days of heavy fighting that left scores of fighters dead, Syrian activists said Saturday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the four-day offensive by different militant groups, including the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front, killed 86 troops and pro-government gunmen, including 25 members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah group. The Observatory and the Local Coordination Committees, both of which monitor the conflict through networks of local activists, say militants now control the villages of Zeitan and Khalsa, south of Aleppo city.



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