MORE THAN 700 DIE IN 8 DAYS OF CLASHES BETWEEN OPPOSITION GROUPS – EXECUTIONS ON BOTH SIDES
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MORE THAN 700 DIE IN 8 DAYS OF CLASHES BETWEEN OPPOSITION GROUPS – EXECUTIONS ON BOTH SIDES

Aleppo : Syria | Jan 13, 2014 at 2:44 PM PST
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Explosive barrels rain on Aleppo

After around 700 people have been killed between the 3rd and midnight on the 11th January, it looks as though the extreme Jihadists, the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (known as ISIL or ISIS) have regained some of their lost territory in battles with more moderate Opposition brigades.

According to the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights, they have recorded 351 deaths of moderate Opposition fighters from various groups during this period, at least 53 of them executed by ISIL. 246 ISIS fighters are reported killed, 56 executed in another war crime by one of the other Opposition groups in Idlib province.

Around 100 civilians have now been killed in these clashes, either caught in cross-fire, shelling or car bomb explosions. The real figure may well be over 1,000 as many deaths have gone unreported and hundreds believed to be held in ISIL prisons have disappeared.

In the Opposition controlled provincial capital of Raqqah, where much of the fiercest fighting has been taking place, ISIL are reported to have regained over the weekend much of the territory they had previously lost, though heavy fighting between the 2 sides is reported this morning, Monday, on the eastern side of the city.

To the south of the Raqqah, ISIL are said to have abandoned Al-Taybah in the desert to the Syrian Army and moved their fighters towards the provincial capital.

To the north of Raqqah city at Tal Abyad on the Turkish Border, a counter-attack by ISIL over the weekend drove out moderate Opposition forces leaving many dead.

There are some reports that as many as 70 bodies of Opposition fighters wounded in the battle, belonging to Jabhat al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham (idealogically similar to ISIL), have turned up in Raqqah hospital after the Jihadists executed them. Most had been shot in the head.

The Turkish Government has closed the border crossing until further notice and withdrawn its personnel.

Abdallah Farraj, a member of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) from Raqqa, said moderate Opposition fighters had been able to expel ISIL from parts of neighbouring Aleppo province, but it would be hard to shake ISIL’s hold on Raqqah province.

Part of the problem is that fighters on both sides of the clashes are often related and drawn from local tribes.

Abu Khaled al-Walid, an activist speaking from the border area, said many fighters from Ahrar al-Sham, one of the most powerful Islamist groups, chose not to confront ISIL because the combatants were local people with little enmity for each other.

To Read More of the Current News from Syria go to:

http://www.petercliffordonline/syria-news-3

or follow @PeterClifford1 on Twitter

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Syrian opposition fighters in Aleppo
Syrian opposition fighters in Aleppo
Peter Clifford is based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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