Regime and militants-led forces were locked in clashes Thursday on the edge of an opposition bastion in northwest Syria after a militants-led advance that killed 71 fighters overnight.

Russian and regime aircraft have ramped up their deadly bombardment of the Idlib region administered by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, and home to some three million people since late April, despite a months-old international truce deal.

The Syrian observatory for human rights said that late Wednesday, HTS and allied rebels took control of a village and hilltop, in clashes that killed 41 regime fighters and 30 fighters within the insurgents’ own ranks.

Clashes have also raged on the edges of the region, including in the north of Hama province.

Meanwhile, a car bomb near a checkpoint manned by turkey-backed rebels in the northern Syrian town of Afrin killed 13 people including eight civilians.