Monday, May 5, 2014

al-Qaeda infighting shows that even if Assad is removed, Sunnis will countinue to suffer: 60,000 civilians forced to leave Islamist controlled areas

    Monday, May 05, 2014   No comments

The British-based Observatory said the Nusra Front had taken over control of the town of Abreeha from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a former al Qaeda affiliate formally disowned by the group this year.

At least 62 fighters had been killed in around four days of clashes in the area, which have emptied Abreeha and the towns of al-Busayrah and al-Zir, whose populations total over 60,000, the Observatory said.

The Observatory, an anti-Assad group which monitors violence in Syria through a network of sources, said Islamist fighters had burned houses and a young girl had been killed by mortar fire during the fighting.

ISIL and the Nusra Front have clashed repeatedly over oilfields and strategic positions in Deir al-Zor, a desert province bordering Iraq.

Al Qaeda's global leader Ayman al-Zawhri has called ISIL's entry into Syria's civil war a "political disaster" for Islamist militants there and urged the group to redouble its efforts in Iraq instead.

In the southern Deraa province, the Nusra Front arrested rebel commander Ahmed al-Neamah late on Saturday, accusing him of delivering the town of Kherbat Ghazalah to government forces, the Observatory said.


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