Syrian government troops on Wednesday battled rebels who had launched a series of attacks on military checkpoints in the northern province of Idlib, opposition activists said.

At least four government soldiers were killed and 10 wounded in the fighting, they added.

“The clashes are raging in the area of Jisr al-Shaghour. There are reports that a helicopter was shot down by the rebels in the region,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, the head of the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Britain-based Observatory said in a statement that warplanes had bombarded the pro-rebel villages of Deir Sharqi and Maarshmisha and the town of Maaret al-Nouman near Idlib.

At least 180 people, including 31 in Idlib, were killed in violence across Syria on Tuesday, according to the Observatory.

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