Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
WEDNESDAY, 23 APR 2014
06:56 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
23 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Middle East
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
700 killed in Syria rebel-jihadist battle: activists
Agence France Presse
Rebel fighters stand guard at a former base used by fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), after they captured it from the ISIL in al-Dana town in Idlib province January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Abdalghne Karoof
Rebel fighters stand guard at a former base used by fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), after they captured it from the ISIL in al-Dana town in Idlib province January 9, 2014. REUTERS/Abdalghne Karoof
A+ A-

BEIRUT: Fierce fighting between jihadists and rival rebel groups in Syria has killed at least 700 in more than a week while hundreds more are missing, a monitoring group said Sunday.

The Al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadist group, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), linked the violence to a peace conference on Syria slated to take place in Switzerland on January 22.

The allegations came as Western powers on Sunday stepped up pressure on Syria's divided opposition to take part in the conference alongside representatives of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.

"From January 3 to 11, the fighting killed 697 people, among them 351 rebels, 246 members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and 100 civilians," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said there could be even "more than 1,000" dead, but his group has been unable to document all the killings given the ferocity of the clashes.

The Britain-based monitoring group, which relies on a network of activists across Syria for its reports, also said there were "hundreds of captives from both sides whose fate is unknown".

In a reflection of the brutality of the fighting, which has raged mainly in the northern provinces of Aleppo, Idlib and Raqa but has also hit Hama and Homs in the centre, at least 200 people were killed in one 48-hour period.

The Observatory also reported that dozens of those killed in recent days died in 16 suicide bombings staged by ISIL in Aleppo, Idlib, Homs and Raqa provinces.

"Sixteen suicide attackers have detonated themselves in the past week, most of them in car bomb attacks, some using explosive belts," Abdel Rahman said.

A rebel fighter with Ahrar al-Sham, which is leading battles against ISIL in several areas, told AFP "they use suicide attacks to terrorise society as a whole into submission, not just the fighters."

"It is one of their most deadly weapons... which they use partly for a lack of other means," he said via the Internet on condition of anonymity.

An ISIL commander had warned rival opposition fighters this week of car bomb attacks if they pressed their offensive against the jihadists.

ISIL to strike 'with iron fist' 

And on Sunday the ISIL branch in Raqa alleged the fighting that erupted nine days ago was linked to the January 22 peace conference known as "Geneva 2".

ISIL charged that a group of rival rebels launched the offensive against the jihadists on several fronts "for the sole objective of destroying (us)... and replacing us... to satisfy apostate states who will meet at Geneva 2".

ISIL, which is seeking to set up an Islamic state in Syria, said its militants retaliated "in order to protect the jihad" and vowed to "strike with an iron fist those who think they can spill the blood of Muslims".

The Swiss talks seek to revive a long-stalled framework for peace involving a cessation of hostilities and the creation of a national transitional government that could involve figures from the current regime and the opposition.

But opposition leaders are wary of being drawn into a process they fear could result in Assad clinging on to power and have yet to give a commitment to attending.

Fighting between ISIL and other rebels raged Sunday in parts of Raqa after jihadists seized much of the city, which is the only provincial capital not in regime hands.

Assad's army meanwhile took advantage of the infighting to push for more control of Aleppo province.

Regime aircraft dropped explosives-packed barrels on the towns of Al-Bab on Sunday, killing at least eight people.

On Saturday loyalist troops seized the rebel town of Naqarin north of Aleppo and pushed toward the industrial part of Syria's second city, activists reported.

More than 130,000 people have been killed in Syria and millions more displaced since March 2011.

 
Home Middle East
 
     
 
Syria
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Story Summary
Fierce fighting between jihadists and rival rebel groups in Syria has killed at least 700 in more than a week while hundreds more are missing, a monitoring group said Sunday.

In a reflection of the brutality of the fighting, which has raged mainly in the northern provinces of Aleppo, Idlib and Raqa but has also hit Hama and Homs in the centre, at least 200 people were killed in one 48-hour period.

On Sunday the ISIL branch in Raqa alleged the fighting that erupted nine days ago was linked to the January 22 peace conference known as "Geneva 2".

Fighting between ISIL and other rebels raged Sunday in parts of Raqa after jihadists seized much of the city, which is the only provincial capital not in regime hands.

On Saturday loyalist troops seized the rebel town of Naqarin north of Aleppo and pushed toward the industrial part of Syria's second city, activists reported.
Related Articles
 
 
More than 50 Syria rebels, jihadists killed: NGO
 
 
German rapper-turned-jihadist reported dead in Syria
 
 
Syrian state TV: 14 killed in car bombing in Homs
 
 
Syria activists say rebel infighting kills 24
 
 
Rival group accuses Al-Qaeda of betraying jihadist cause
Show More
Entities
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Wednesday, April 23, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS