Syria militants briefly seize parts of Idlib
The al-Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliated militant group in Syria, attacked the government-held city of Idlib Monday and briefly seized a number of state buildings, the BBC reported.
Government forces blocked the offensive, pushing back the rebels, who claimed had killed dozens of regime soldiers.
Syrian government forces have maintained control of Idlib since the north-western city was briefly taken by rebel groups in 2012.
The Nusra Front launched its offensive on the town from all sides, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a London-based group monitoring the conflict in Syria, said.
While most of the attacks took place in the south of the city, the rebels stormed checkpoints and briefly took control of governor's office and a police headquarters.
The militants also seized a hill that would have given them some strategic advantage, provoking the government to deploy helicopter gunships, which reportedly killed dozens of rebels and soldiers.
As the world's attention is fixated on U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against ISIS targets, the Nusra Front continues to slowly advance in the north west and south of Syria, according to the BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut.