Syrian troops retreated as regime warplanes bombarded Al-Qaeda-led rebel fighters on Friday, a day after the insurgents overran the last government-held city in the key northwestern province of Idlib.

Opposition forces now control the vast majority of Idlib after Al-Nusra Front and its allies in the so-called Army of Conquest overran Ariha and surrounding villages on Thursday.

It was the latest blow to loyalist forces who have been battling myriad rebel groups for four years, after the fall of the ancient city of Palmyra to the Islamic State (IS) extremist group last week. […]