9 Syrian soldiers killed in clashes with rebels

Nine Syrian soldiers died and 21 were wounded in clashes overnight with armed rebels in the restive country's northwest, a rights group reported on Sunday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Syrian army casualties occurred in three separate clashes at Jebel Al-Zawiya in Idlib province, which borders Turkey.

The Turkey-based Free Syrian Army, which comprises army deserters and armed volunteers, regularly attacks the security forces in a bid to halt their brutal crackdown on dissent which rights groups say has killed more than 6,000 people since mid-March.

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