Nine soldiers of government forces were killed on Friday in an attack carried out by an extremist group in Syria’s northwestern province of Latakia, a war monitor reported.
The attack against military positions in the al-Kurd Mountains in the countryside of Latakia was carried out by a group affiliated with the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an ultra-radical group previously with ties to al-Qaida, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The UK-based watchdog group said three of the assailants were killed during the confrontation that ensued.
The latest incident is part of the current escalation between the Syrian army and the HTS in northwestern Syria. The Observatory warned on Friday that any further escalation in the region could threaten the civilian population and cause possible waves of displacement.
On Aug. 26, eleven Syrian military personnel were killed, and 20 others were injured in an attack by the HTS in the country’s northwestern province of Idlib.
On Aug. 25, seven HTS members were killed by the army forces in the western countryside of Aleppo in northern Syria.
Also late in August, Syrian forces intercepted and shot down three weaponized drones dispatched by the HTS in the northwestern provinces of Idlib and Hama, the state news agency SANA reported.
HTS, previously known as the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, has established control over a large swathe of Idlib.