Syrian troops advance against insurgents in northwest

Syrian pro-government media say troops have captured a village and a strategic hill from insurgents in the country's northwest.

The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media says troops captured the village of al-Bani and the nearby Othman hill in the northern countryside of Hama province.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition-linked war monitor, confirmed that al-Bani was taken and that troops are marching toward the hill.

The Observatory says the intense fighting on Monday killed 20 people.

The latest round of fighting has killed dozens and displaced tens of thousands in Idlib and nearby rebel-held areas, who fled to safer regions further north.

It's the heaviest fighting in months, and has raised fears the government may launch a wider offensive to retake the country's last major rebel stronghold.