The Syrian army and its allies have launched a counteroffensive to recapture a village south of the city of Aleppo that was overrun by insurgents a few days earlier.

Syrian opposition groups said Wednesday that the push, which started late the previous night, is aimed at retaking the village of Tel al-Ais, which overlooks the Damascus-Aleppo highway. The village was captured on Monday by rebels allied with al-Qaida's affiliate in Syria, the Nusra Front.

The fighting outside Aleppo, the country's second-largest city, has been the worst since a partial cease-fire agreement came into effect in late February. It pits Syrian government forces and allied Lebanese Hezbollah militiamen against militants, including the Nusra Front.