Men transport an injured man on a stretcher at a site hit by what activists said was a barrel bomb dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at Qadi Askar district of Aleppo August 13, 2014. REUTERS/Rami Zayat
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Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) seized a string of villages in northern Syria Wednesday in fighting that left 52 people dead, an anti-regime monitoring group said.ISIS already controls almost all of the Euphrates valley provinces of Raqqa and Deir al-Zor and has been making gains further west at the expense of rival rebel groups which it has been fighting since December.The rival rebels, many of them from more moderate Islamist groups, have been weakened by the defection late last month of Al-Qaeda affiliate Nusra Front, which had made common cause in the battle against ISIS.ISIS initially fought alongside Syria's opposition, including more moderate rebels and Nusra fighters.
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