Syrian army kills 7 rebels in Aleppo

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 Seven members of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) rebel group were killed by the Syrian army in the northern province of Aleppo on Friday, a war monitor reported.

The army hit two vehicles of the HTS in the western countryside of Aleppo, killing seven militants and injuring several others, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The UK-based watchdog group said the death toll will likely rise as some militants are critically wounded.

Tension has been brewing between the HTS, which is previously known as the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, and the Syrian army with both sides exchanging fire in northern Syria.

On Monday, Syrian forces intercepted and shot down three weaponized drones dispatched by the HTS in the northwestern provinces of Idlib and Hama, according to the state news agency SANA.

On the same day, Russian airstrikes conducted in the Idlib region killed eight HTS militants, according to the Observatory.

HTS, a former al-Qaida affiliate, has established control over a large swathe of Idlib.

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