BEIRUT (AP) -- Activists say government forces have killed at least 18 rebels in clashes in central Syria.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday the fighting took place overnight near the town of Morek in Hama province.
The town lies along the main highway that connects the capital, Damascus, with northern Syria.
The government has been battling rebels for control of the road for months.
President Bashar Assad's regime wants to keep the highway open so it can resupply its forces bogged down in fighting in the contested northern city of Aleppo.
The rebels want to cut the road to prevent supplies and reinforcements from reaching those troops.