Turkey says 51 Syrian soldiers killed as rebels hit back in Idlib

Turkey said on Tuesday 51 Syrian soldiers were killed in northwest Syria as Turkish-backed rebels struck back against Russian-supported government forces who had made gains in their campaign to eliminate the last insurgent bastion in the country.
The Turkish Defense Ministry cited sources on the ground for the information, adding that two Syrian tanks and one ammunition store were destroyed as well.
Hours before, a war monitor reported that Syrian government forces seized control of the main Aleppo-to-Damascus highway running through the embattled northwest province of Idlib for the first time since the early days of the civil war in 2012.
But Syrian state media made no mention of this and rebel sources later said fighting was continuing in some northern areas near the M-5 highway, which links Aleppo with the capital Damascus and ultimately Deraa in the far south.
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