Syria

Qaeda-tied militants beat rivals in NW Syria

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Al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front militants have fought away rivals in northwestern Syria after fierce confrontation.

On Saturday, the Qaeda-linked militants captured several villages in Idlib Province, according to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The UK-based group said, “After clashes of five days between al-Nusra” and other militant groups, “including the Syria Revolutionary Front, al-Nusra was able to control most villages in Jabel al-Zawya,” referring to a provincial region.

In doing so, the al-Nusra was supported by fellow militants from the ISIL Takfiri terrorist group. The latter group has been trying since mid-September to control the mostly-Kurdish town of Kobani in northern Syria.

The Observatory had earlier said, “Both sides suffered heavy losses” during confrontation between the Syrian Revolutionary Front forces and the al-Nusra Front in the Deir Sinbel village in Idlib on Friday.

On Thursday, another clash pitted the so-called Hazzem movement against the al-Nusra militants in Khan al-Sibel, also in Idlib, leaving three dead.

Both the Syrian Revolutionary Front and Hazzem are supported by the West in their efforts to topple the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. Western powers and some of their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – have been supporting the militants operating in Syria.

More than 200,000 people have reportedly died in the Syrian conflict since March 2011.

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