Al-Qaeda-affiliated rebel groups clash in Syria: NGO

Updated 23 September 2013
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Al-Qaeda-affiliated rebel groups clash in Syria: NGO

BEIRUT: Members of two Al-Qaeda-affiliated rebel groups have clashed in Syria’s northeastern Hasakeh province, with one group seizing the local headquarters of the other, a Syrian NGO said on Sunday.
Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), an Iraqi Al-Qaeda branch that has expanded into Syria, attacked the headquarters of Al-Nusra Front in Shadadi, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“ISIS fighters on Saturday attacked the Nusra Front regional headquarters in Shadadi, taking control of the headquarters and seizing weapons and oil production equipment,” the group said.
The two sides clashed, but the Observatory said Al-Nusra had relatively few fighters at the headquarters because they are currently battling Kurdish forces elsewhere in the region.
Al-Nusra Front has pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda chief Ayman Al-Zawahiri, but its leader rejected an ISIS merger bid.
The two groups have fought alongside each other, however, and it was unclear whether the clashes were caused by a local dispute or a sign of broader tensions.
Elsewhere, ISIS fighters have clashed with members of more moderate brigades belonging to the Free Syrian Army.
ISIS and Al-Nusra share a similar ideology, and some of the latter’s fighters joined ISIS when it expanded into Syria.
Elsewhere, an ISIS fighter blew himself up in a car bomb that targeted a police post outside the capital Damascus, the Observatory said.
The attack, on the main road between Damascus and Homs, wounded several people but only the bomber was reported killed, the Observatory said.
State news agency SANA said the bomber was killed by army gunfire and that the car exploded before reaching its target.
Nearby, state media said Syrian troops had advanced in the northern Damascus district of Barzeh, where the army has been battling rebels for months.
The Observatory reported at least two regime air raids on the neighborhood, but there was no immediate information on casualties.


Syrian activists say 10 killed in Idlib bombings

Updated 13 min 2 sec ago
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Syrian activists say 10 killed in Idlib bombings

  • The Syrian Observatory said the blasts in the Qusour neighborhood during killed 13 people and wounded 25

BEIRUT: Syrian opposition activists and paramedics say two bomb blasts have struck the northwestern city of Idlib, killing at least 10 people.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the blasts in the Qusour neighborhood during rush hour Monday killed 13 people and wounded 25.
The Edlib Media Center, an activist collective, said the bombings killed 10 and wounded dozens.
The first blast occurred in the early afternoon and another followed seconds later. The opposition’s Syrian Civil Defense, a group of volunteer first responders, said one of its members was wounded.
The city of Idlib is controlled by Al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, which has wide influence in northern Syria.
The city has been hit with bombings in recent months that killed or wounded scores of people.