Turkish-backed rebels reportedly killed 51 Syrian government troops near Saraqib (Idlib province) on Tuesday, February 11. Turkish officials said the rebels launched the attack in an attempt to regain territory lost to government forces. Clashes between the two sides occurred near the strategic M5 highway, which links Aleppo to Damascus. Earlier in the day, government troops regained control of the highway for the first time since 2012.
Similar fighting is to be expected between Syrian and Turkish-backed forces in the northwest over the near term.
To date, the Syrian conflict involves many parties, including the Syrian government, the Russian government, the Iranian government, the Turkish government, a US-led coalition, and numerous armed groups on the ground (including the Islamic State) with competing goals.
Due to extremely poor security conditions, Western governments generally advise against all travel to Syria, with some banning travel to the country. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to any travel to Syria.