Some 500 Nusra-front militants, accompanied by seven tanks and about 30 pickup trucks armed with mounted heavy machine guns launched three major offensives against government troops in Idlib province on Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The counterattack focused on the town of Kafr Nabudah, which was recently captured by the Syrian government.
Militants also launched a missile attack on Russia's Hmeymim air base on Wednesday, but nine of the missiles were shot down, and another 8 didn't reach their target, the ministry added.
Northwest Syria, which runs along Syria's border with Turkey, is home to the last remaining rebel strongholds, including a swath of land dominated by the Al Qaeda-linekd Nusra Front, which has adopted a new name, Tahrir al-Sham, Haaretz reports.
The increase in shelling in the region has led to the displacement of 180,000 people, while the increase in shelling marked the most intense period of fighting between Bashar al-Assad and the rebels
According to RT, more than 150 rebels were killed during the morning offensive. Three tanks were destroyed, while 24 trucks mounted with heavy guns were also destroyed in the fighting.