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09:33 GMT +3 hours20 December 2014
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Syrian Troops Kill Saudi Officer in Mop-Up Operation

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Syria’s government troops have killed a Saudi military officer in a mop-up operation in the northwestern province of Idlib, Press TV reported on Sunday, citing Syrian media.

Syria’s government troops have killed a Saudi military officer in a mop-up operation in the northwestern province of Idlib, Press TV reported on Sunday, citing Syrian media.

The officer, identified as Mohammad Salem al-Harbi, was killed on Saturday in fierce battles between Syrian troops and anti-government rebels in the western town of Ma'arrat al-Numan, located 73 kilometers (45 miles) south of the city of Aleppo, Press TV said, citing the Arabic-language news network Al-Alam.

The report added several foreign militants of Turkish nationality were also killed in the battle.

Aleppo has been the site of intense fighting between government and rebel forces for the last two months. It has a population of 2.5 million and is strategically important for the warring sides.

The conflict in Syria has been running since March 2011, claiming over 20,000 lives according to UN data.

The Syrian authorities claim they face well-armed fighters supported from outside the country and accuse Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of arming the opposition.