The Syrian army has pulled back from the northwestern city of Ariha after a coalition of insurgent groups seized the last city in Idlib province in northwestern Syria near the Turkish border that was still held by the government.
A coalition of rebel groups called Jaish al Fateh, or Conquest Army, said it had taken over the city. Syria’s al Qaeda offshoot Nusra Front is a major part of the coalition.
The coalition said it had overrun several checkpoints that defended the city. The Syrian army said intense fighting was going on with Nusra forces that had infiltrated Ariha.
“There are heavy clashes between the army and the terrorists of Jabahat al Nusra who infiltrated inside the city,” said an army statement released on state television.