Al-Qaeda linked group takes northern Syrian town after clash with rebels

Fighting among rebel factions have increased in recent months.

Written by PTI | Beirut | Published:September 19, 2013 2:54 pm

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stormed the town of Azaz in northern Syria,forcing members of the Northern Storm Brigade (Syrian rebel faction) to withdraw.

This followed heavy fighting with the rebel group and ended with the capture by the Islamic militants of the town near the Turkish border.

Rami Abdul-Rahman,who heads the Observatory,said that the clashes broke out on Wednesday when ISIL fighters tried to detain a European doctor they accused of taking pictures of their positions in the area. The German doctor escaped and is in a safe location,Abdul-Rahman said.

Amateur videos showed dozens of gunmen with heavy machine guns mounted on pickup trucks gathering at the nearby border crossing with Turkey. The videos appeared genuine and corresponded to other Associated Press reporting on the events depicted.

Abdul-Rahman said three opposition fighters and two jihadis were killed in the fighting. On Thursday,mediation was under way to get the jihadis to leave Azaz.

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