En ny al-Qaida-tilknyttet gruppe, ISIS, var i dødelig kamp med en annen opprørsgruppe i Syria fredag. Titalls skal ha blitt drept.
The latest internecine clashes happened in the town of al-Dana, near the Turkish border, on Friday, local activists said. The opposition group known as the Free Youths of Idlib said dozens of fighters were killed, wounded or imprisoned.
A report from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition monitoring group, said that the bodies of a commander and his brother, from the local Islam Battalion, were found beheaded. Local activists working for the British-based group said the men’s heads were found next to a trash bin in a main square.
The exact reason for the clashes have been hard to pin down, but many rebel groups have been chafing at ISIS’s rise in power. It has subsumed the once dominant Nusra Front, a more localised group of al-Qaida-linked fighters that had resisted calls by foreign radicals to expand its scope beyond the Syrian revolt to a more regional Islamist mission.
The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the new al-Qaida franchise announced by the head of global network’s Iraq leader, has been quickly working to cement power in rebel-held territories of northern Syria in recent months.
ISIS units have begun to impose stricter interpretations of Islamic law and have filmed themselves executing members of rival rebel groups whom they accuse of corruption, and beheading those they say are loyal to Assad.
Syria’s two-year revolt against four decades of Assad family rule has degenerated from a peaceful protest movement into a bloody civil war that has killed more than 100,000 people.
As fighting drags on and resources grow scarce, infighting has increased both among opposition groups and militias loyal to Assad, leaving civilians trapped in increasingly volatile and fragmented areas.