Al-Qaida-linked fighters attacked Syrian government positions Sunday on the edge of the country’s last rebel stronghold, triggering intense clashes that killed nearly three dozen combatants across both sides, opposition activists said.
The fighting was among the worst since early March, when an agreement between Turkey and Russia halted the Syrian government’s three-month air and ground campaign into rebel-held northwestern Idlib province. Sunday’s clashes took place in neighboring Hama province, parts of which are still under rebel control.
Russia is a main backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad, while Turkey backs opposition fighters trying to remove him from power. Russia and Turkey have become the main power brokers in war-torn Syria in recent years.