The road in question runs through Idlib, connecting government-held Damascus with the northern city of Aleppo, which was retaken by loyalists from rebels in December 2016.
To the east, pro-Assad fighters are battling to control a hill just 6 kilometers (less than 4 miles) from the town, the head of the Britain-based Observatory said.
Clashes on Wednesday killed 14 members of the regime forces, as well as 20 jihadists and 7 allied rebels, it said.
On the highway not far from the Turkish border on Wednesday, a family was driving north in their pick-up truck.
Sitting beside him, his wife Umm Ahmad said they had left almost everything behind.
The United Nations says dozens of health centers as well as schools have been targeted.
Government forces have taken back large parts of the country from rebels and jihadists with Russian military backing since 2015.
Regime forces"won't hesitate to bite off or control everything they can," said Oliver, an expert at the Turkey-based Omran Center for Strategic Studies.Read more: Rappler
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