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78 Turkey backed rebels killed in Russian Air strike

Istanbul: Atleast 78 fighters from a Turkey-backed rebel group in northwest Syria were killed on Monday in an Air strikes by a Syrian regime ally.

More than 90 were also wounded when they targeted a training camp of the Faylaq al-Sham faction in the Jabal Duwayli area in Idli province.

The National Liberation Front, an umbrella group of Ankara-backed rebels, told news agencies that Russian strikes on Monday had hit one of its positions and caused casualties, but did not give an exact death toll.

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NLF spokesman Say Raad denounced the “Russian aircraft and regime forces continuously violating the Turkish-Russian deal in targeting military positions, villages and towns”.

In March, a fragile truce brokered between Moscow and Ankara stemmed a deadly months-long Russia-backed regime military offensive on the country’s last major rebel stronghold in Idlib that displaced almost a million people from their homes.

The March truce has largely held with the exception of some bombardment and intermittent air strikes on the area, including a US drone strike on Thursday that killed 17 jihadists.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, led by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate, and allied rebels dominate the region of some three million people, many living in camps after being displaced by the nine-year war.

After a string of military victories backed by Russia, the Syrian government has regained control of around 70 percent of the country.

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