Syrian rebels attacked three army checkpoints Thursday and killed 28 soldiers, an opposition group reported.
There was no comment from the government or state-run media.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the attacks occurred in the northern province of Idlib, near the Turkish border. It said five rebels were killed in the skirmishes.
The attacks came after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Washington hopes new Syrian opposition talks next week will produce a new rebel leadership that represents those fighting and dying in the country.
Clinton said the United States is recommending names and organizations that should feature prominently in a new opposition structure emerging from talks in Doha. She said the Syrian National Council, composed mainly of exiles, can no longer be viewed as the leader of the opposition, but it can still play a role.
Speaking Wednesday in the Croatian capital, Clinton said a newly united Syrian opposition “must be on record” resisting attempts by Islamist extremists to hijack the revolution against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. VoA.