The attack, which began late Thursday and lasted until dawn, was the deadliest by government forces since Russia and Turkey signed a deal in September to create the buffer zone, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Government forces attacked a post of the ‘Jaish al-Izza’ rebel group in western Latamneh, a village in Hama's countryside, the observatory said.
‘Jaish al-Izza’ is affiliated with the Free Syrian Army and is active in north-western Syria, mainly in the al-Ghab Plain in northern Hama and its surroundings.
The Russian-Turkish agreement was created in large part to prevent a major government offensive on the north-western province of Idlib. It set out a deadline of October 15 for the withdrawal of all rebels from the buffer zone, which stretches along the front lines around Idlib and includes parts of the neighbouring provinces of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo.