Jihadists launched a counterattack against regime forces Tuesday on the edges of their bastion in northwestern Syria, leaving dead 26 pro-government fighters and 18 jihadists, a monitor said. The jihadist-dominated Idlib region is nominally protected by a buffer zone deal, but the regime and its Russian ally have escalated their bombardment of it in recent weeks, seizing several towns on its southern flank. Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, controls a large part of Idlib province as well as adjacent slivers of Aleppo, Hama and Latakia provinces. Jihadists on Tuesday launched a counterattack against pro-government positions to the south of the enclave, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The fighting in the town of Kafr Nabuda in the north of Hama province killed 26 pro-government fighters, as well as 18 jihadists, the Britain-based monitoring group said.