Rebels have intensified shelling on Alawite villages in Hama province, pressing slow advances in the northern countryside and sparking fears among Bashar Assad loyalists.
At least five people were killed and 18 wounded Tuesday when the rebels fired mortar shells against Qamhaneh town in the northern countryside of Hama province, Xinhua reported, citing the Syrian News Agency.
SANA said three civilians were killed overnight when an armed rebels had attempted to sneak into Qubaibat town also in the northern countryside of Hama.
Activists said that the Syrian air force raided positions of the rebels in the town of Um Khuraiseh near Qubaibat in Hama, succeeding in recapturing the town that was a key stronghold for the radical rebel groups, according to IANS.
After a long period of calm, clashes between Assad's forces and rebels have erupted again in the historic province of Hama which had witnessed bloody clashes and memorable protests at the beginning of Syrian uprising in 2011.
On Monday, at least 16 Syrian army troops have been killed in Morek town in the northern countryside, field activists said.
Activists said 16 soldiers from the elite Republican Guard were killed as fierce clashes took place at the gates of Morek.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported violent clashes between regime forces backed by NDF and Hezbollah against the Nusra Front and many Islamic battalions in the western countryside of Hama and al-Sher area, led to death of one Islamic fighter and a colonel in the regular forces.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer