Nine Syrian soldiers were killed and several others wounded in clashes Saturday overnight with opposition militias in the country's northwestern region, London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Sunday according to AFP.
The clashes erupted in the restive Idlib province, a region that has become one of the fiercest battlegrounds in the Syrian opposition's efforts to unseat the regime of President Bashar Assad. The clashes included a rebel attack on a military vehicle in Mount Zawiya near Syria's border with Turkey in which one Syrian soldier was killed. The rest of the casualties occurred in "clashes" with Syrian rebels in the rural Idlib area, including the death of one high-rank officer in an attack by rebels that killed six Syrian soldiers.
The Free Syria Army, the armed Syrian opposition formed by army defectors and volunteers, has stepped up its attacks on army outposts throughout the country in an attempt to stop Assad's army from continuing its brutal crackdown on anti-government protesters that has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 Syrians since March 2011.