Regime forces captured two villages from extremists and allied opposition fighters in north-west Syria on Thursday (August 8th) following deadly clashes, days after ditching a ceasefire for the area, AFP reported.
The villages of al-Sakhr and al-Jaysat in Hama province came under regime control, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Both lie on the southern edge of the extremist-run bastion of Idlib.
Fierce clashes in the area since Wednesday night killed seven regime personnel as well as 18 anti-government fighters including 11 extremists, the Observatory said.
The regime and its Russian ally on Thursday slammed northern Hama and southern Idlib with airstrikes, it said.
State news agency SANA said rocket fire from within the bastion on Thursday wounded five civilians including two children in a government-held village in rural Latakia province.
Loyalist forces have closed in on towns and villages held by anti-government forces in northern Hama in recent days, as they push towards the provincial borders of Idlib.
On Wednesday, they captured the town of al-Zakat and al-Arbaeen village in Hama province, according to SANA and the Observatory.
They have also closed in on Kafr Zita and al-Latamna -- another town and village in the same area, the Observatory said.