Al Qaeda offshoot withdraws from rebel-held Syrian town near Turkey

Al Qaeda offshoot withdraws from rebel-held Syrian town near Turkey

PanARMENIAN.Net - Fighters from an al Qaeda splinter group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), withdrew from a rebel-held Syrian town near the border with Turkey on Friday, Feb 28, a monitoring group said, according to Reuters.

Months of rebel infighting in and around Azaz, 5 km (3 miles) from the Turkish border, has hampered efforts to get humanitarian aid into Syria and help tens of thousands of refugees who fled there to escape bombardment by government forces in Aleppo province.

ISIL, which took Azaz five months ago from rival opposition fighters, has fought other rebels who control the border post with Turkey. A car bomb last week at a makeshift camp on the Syrian side of the border killed five refugees.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which reported the withdrawal, says 3,300 people have been killed since the start of the year in fighting between rebel factions trying to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Rami Abdulrahman, head of the anti-Assad Observatory, said ISIL withdrew at dawn to strongholds east of Aleppo city. He said the group was suffering heavy losses in Azaz.

The infighting started last year over power struggles and territorial disputes and has since spread throughout rebel-held territory in Syria.

A peaceful protest movement against four decades of Assad family rule in 2011 turned into civil war after a government crackdown. More than 140,000 people have been killed, according to the Observatory.

Related links:
 Top stories
U.S. Central Command said C-130 transport aircraft had made "multiple" drops of supplies provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq.
The president will aim to show the U.S. public and allies abroad that he is committed to a plan to "degrade" and "destroy" the group.
Cazeneuve said authorities are monitoring a French member of the Islamic State group identified by the U.S. State Department.
The campaign expands upon the airstrikes the United States has been conducting against the militants in Iraq since early August.
Partner news
Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha on March 15, 1921

Operation Nemesis was a covert operation by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation carried out from 1920 to 1922, during which a number of former Ottoman political and military figures were assassinated for their role in the Armenian Genocide.