Fierce clashes escalating between ISIL, new rebel group in Northwestern Syria

Foreign-backed militants operating in Syria (file photo)

TEHRAN (FNA)- Heavy fighting escalated between a newly-formed Syrian rebel alliance and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Northwestern Syria.

“The so-called ‘Army of Mujahideen’ and the ISIL widened their fierce clashes in Aleppo and Idlib on Monday,” local sources told FNA. Tens of militants from both sides, including their ringleaders, have been killed and dozens more have been injured so far.

“The number of ISIL militants killed in the past two days has exceeded 400 and for the same reason the terrorist group has been forced to declare an emergency situation in areas under its control in Eastern Aleppo,” the sources said.

The Army of Mujahideen has ruled out the possibility of any ceasefire with the ISIL in Aleppo.

On Sunday, the Army of Mujahideen declared war on the ISIL and joined other opposition groups in battling the extremists.

“We, the Army of the Mujahideen, pledge to defend ourselves and our honor, wealth and lands, and to fight ISIL, which has violated the rule of God, until it announces its dissolution,” said the new alliance of eight groups, in a statement published on Facebook Friday.

The alliance demanded that ISIL fighters either join the ranks of other rebel groups “or hand over their weapons and leave Syria.”

The alliance accused ISIL of spreading strife and insecurity, spilling the blood of fighters and wrongly accusing them of heresy, and expelling them and their families from rebels-ruled areas.

The Army of Mujahideen also accused ISIL of theft and looting, and of “kidnapping, killing and torturing (rebel) commanders and activists,” echoing repeated complaints among opposition ranks against the Al-Qaeda affiliate.

The newly formed group is made up of eight small to medium-sized brigades, and it was not immediately clear how many fighters it commanded.

But as the statement was issued it fought fierce clashes against ISIL in the Aleppo and Idlib provinces of Northern Syria.

The Islamic Front, the largest rebel alliance, which is made up of several powerful Wahhabi groups, and the Syrian Revolutionaries Front, another major rebel bloc, also battled ISIL on Friday.

By Fars News Agency 

 

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