A general view shows damaged buildings and debris in Deir al-Zor, June 13, 2013. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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Militants from ISIS have expelled the Nusra Front and allied groups from rebel-held neighborhoods in the city of Deir al-Zor on the Euphrates River in the latest territorial gain by the Al-Qaeda splinter group in its multi-front war against rebel groups.The development is being described as the fall of Syria's second provincial capital to ISIS, after the city of Raqqa further upstream on the Euphrates last year – but regime forces continue to hold several neighborhoods in the city of Deir al-Zor. While government troops maintain a presence in Deir al-Zor and Raqqa and aircraft reportedly target ISIS locations in several parts of the country, little damage is done, say anti-regime activists.The Observatory added that civilian demonstrations against the presence of ISIS continued to take place in villages in rural Deir al-Zor.
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