which has also increased around the northern city of Aleppo and
seen heavy government air strikes in Homs province, undermines a
weeks-old ceasefire deal and threatens to derail U.N.-led peace
The fresh insurgent attacks came after rebel groups announced a
new battle against government forces which they said was a
response to violations of the truce.
Warring sides have traded blame over violations of the Feb. 27
cessation of hostilities deal brokered by Washington and Moscow.
It excludes Islamic State and al-Qaeda's Nusra Front.
In Latakia's northern countryside, a number of insurgent groups
launched a fierce attack on government forces and their allies
in early morning and had by midday made advances, the
In Hama, insurgents had almost completely taken over the town of
Khirbat al-Naqus in the strategic Ghab plain, the Observatory
reported. The groups attacking there included factions that did
not commit to the truce.
A Syrian military source confirmed the insurgent attacks in the
west. The source said the army was fighting back and had
thwarted a car bomb attack in the Ghab plain.
"Today they attacked in the northern Latakia countryside in
several areas, in violation of the cessation of hostilities
agreement, and also in the northwestern Hama countryside," the
source said. Violent clashes continued, the source said.
The Observatory reported that in northern Homs province heavy
government air strikes killed four people, and said the death
toll was expected to rise with more people wounded.
(Reporting by John Davison; Editing by Richard Balmforth)
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