Syrian army retakes village in Aleppo province from Islamists: monitor

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian army backed by allied forces recaptured a village from Islamist insurgents hours after Nusra Front and others seized the area south of city of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Tuesday.

The al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and Islamist group Jund al-Aqsa and others took the village of al-Ais on Monday, in the first advance of the group this year but government forces quickly launched a counter assault and pushed them out, the Britain-based monitoring group said.

Nusra Front is not covered by the U.S.-Russia truce agreement to halt the fighting in Syria and Moscow and Damascus said they will continue fighting groups outside the deal.

Foreign powers hope the pause in fighting can lead to peace talks to end the conflict. But the agreement, which has not been directly signed by the Syrian warring parties and is less binding than a formal ceasefire, is very fragile and each side has accused the other of breaking it.

A Syrian rebel group said it came under government attack on Tuesday in the Kabani hill in the province of Latakia.

“There is a major attack in but they haven’t advanced. It has been going on for more than three hours,” Fadi Ahmad, spokesman for First Coastal Division, told Reuters.

He said that Syrian and Russian warplanes were also seen in the sky.

Reporting by Mariam Karouny and Tom Perry; Editing by Alison Williams