DAMASCUS, June 7 (Xinhua) -- The Syrian army and the rebels are fighting intensively on Friday as a result of a major rebel attack on areas recently captured by the army in the central province of Hama, state media and activists reported.
The Syrian army eliminated rebel groups which attacked areas in the northwestern countryside of Hama, state news agency SANA said.
It reported that the army fired precisely on rebel supply routes coming from the southern countryside of Idlib.
The state news agency said that the army also targeted hundreds of foreign rebels in the northwestern countryside of Hama, destroying rebels' weaponry and killing many of them.
SANA said that the rebels succeeded last night in infiltrating the villages of Kafr Houd and Tal Mileh in northwestern Hama.
As a result of the clashes, the army retook areas that had fallen to the rebels in their latest attack.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the battles are intensely taking place in the countryside of Hama as the Syrian government's forces are carrying out a counter-offensive with the help of warplanes and ground shelling.
The Britain-based watchdog group said that the army regained control over Kafr Houd village and is fighting to restore the Tal Mileh strategic hilltop that overlooks a key road in Hama countryside.
The Observatory said that 30 fighters from both sides have so far been killed as a result of the battles that flared late on Thursday.
Areas of the countryside of Hama, Idlib and the Aleppo provinces are included in a de-escalation zones' deal established in September 2018 by Russia and Turkey.
The deal didn't materialize as battles have escalated since late April.