Qaeda seizes Syria-Turkey border town

2013-09-19 08:01
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Beirut - An al-Qaeda front group fighting in Syria on Wednesday overran the northern town of Azaz near the border with Turkey after fierce clashes with rebels, activists told AFP.

"The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) has seized complete control of Azaz. They are in control of the town's entrances," said Abu Ahmad, an activist inside the town.

Another activist, a resident of the border town, confirmed the report.

"Isis are in full control. They are detaining people from their homes, and they are manning all the checkpoints," he told AFP via the Internet, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was more cautious in its reporting on Isis's advances in Azaz, and its Britain-based director Rami Abdel Rahman said the group was not yet in full control.

"Isis snipers are deployed all over Azaz. They have made major advances," he told AFP.

Abdel Rahman also said "there is growing popular resentment against Isis", amid multiplying reports of kidnappings, summary executions and other abuses in areas where they operate.

The development in Azaz comes amid increasing reports of fighting in northern Syria between Isis and non-jihadist rebels vying to bring down President Bashar Assad's regime.

In a sign that Syria's conflict has grown highly localised in recent months, Isis has fought side by side with rebels against government troops in other areas of the country.

In Azaz, reports emerged of continuing clashes.

Abu Ahmad said that after seizing the town, Isis fighters were "on their way to the [nearby] Bab al-Salameh" border crossing with Turkey.

Bab al-Salameh has for months been under control of local rebels, chiefly the Northern Storm brigade.

News of the reported seizure of Azaz came after a battle lasting several hours between Northern Storm fighters and Isis.

Among those reported killed in the clashes was Omar Diab, a media activist from Azaz.

Better known by his pseudonym Hazem al-Azizi, Diab's killing triggered an outpouring of anger against Isis on activists' online platforms.

The Northern Storm brigade meanwhile issued an online statement calling on other rebel groups nearby to "move directly towards Azaz, to protect the town and free it from Isis".

Read more on:    al-qaeda  |  isis  |  syrian observatory for human rights  |  bashar assad  |  syria  |  turkey  |  syria conflict
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Must see! The most luxurious dog house!

This dog house comes with a treadmill and hot tub, you have to see it!

 
 

Luxury living

Exciting new luxury SUV arrives in SA!
WIN!
Ridiculous demands people with too much money make
8 of the priciest places to dock your yacht
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You are a high flier with idealistic and set standards. There is a tendency to be too idealistic or fixed on one way and this can...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.