First Published: 2017-02-14

Fighting between jihadist groups in Syria kills nearly 70
Two formerly allied jihadist groups clash in north Syria over influence in Idlib province, nearly 70 fighters dead.
Middle East Online

Airstrike debris in Idlib

IDLIB - Nearly 70 fighters from two formerly allied jihadist groups have been killed during infighting over the past 24 hours in northern Syria, a monitor said on Tuesday.

The clashes between former Al-Qaeda affiliate Fateh al-Sham and the hardline jihadist Jund al-Aqsa faction erupted on Monday morning, after tensions over influence in the northwestern province of Idlib.

The fighting reflects the growing strained relations between different factions in Idlib province that once fought alongside either other against President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the clashes erupted after Jund al-Aqsa carried out a suicide bomb attack against a Fateh al-Sham headquarters in Idlib, killing nine people.

The toll has now risen to 69 dead from both sides in heavy clashes as well as executions, with the fighting spreading to the neighbouring province of Hama.

"There are battles between warlords, it's a war for influence," said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.

Jund al-Aqsa is reviled by most rebels in the region, and is designed a "terrorist group" by Washington.

Despite that, in October Fateh al-Sham announced it had taken Jund al-Aqsa under its wing, although clashes between the two groups erupted shortly afterwards.

In January, Fateh al-Sham also battled other rebel groups in Idlib during 10 days of clashes that killed dozens of fighters.

Idlib province is held almost entirely by opposition factions, and was captured by an alliance of fighters dubbed the Army of Conquest, led by Fateh al-Sham.

More than 310,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests.

The war has become a complex multi-front conflict, drawing in jihadist groups and international armies.

 

Saudi insists demands on Qatar non-negotiable

US court halts deportations of Iraqi nationals

Yemen cholera outbreak shows signs of slowing

Over 8,000 migrants rescued in Med in 48 hours

Lebanon’s grocery business booming thanks to refugees

Children in the lead as families escape Raqa

Turkey remembers Istanbul airport attack

30 civilians dead in Syria air strikes

Celebrating Eid al-Fitr, even if worries abound

Libya’s cash crisis worsens three years into civil war

Turkish army clashes with Kurdish militia in Syria

Qatar says Garcia Report 'vindicates' 2022 bid

US Supreme Court to decide on Iran artifact case

Hamas says travel documents for sick Gazans being refused

Former Syrian defence minister Mustafa Tlass dies in Paris

Iran says US reinstating travel ban 'regrettable'

GCC construction outlook to improve with oil prices recovery and implementation of reforms

57 dead in US-led strikes on IS Syria prison

Kremlin denounces US ‘threats’ against Assad

Mattis says US wants to steer clear of war in Syria

Mali activists call for referendum to be abandoned

Iraq forces battle deep into devastated Old Mosul

Iraqi forces control two thirds of Mosul Old City

Banned Bahraini newspaper fires staff

New crown prince widely welcomed in Saudi Arabia

Assad leads Eid prayers in Syria’s Hama

Lone-wolf attacks raise concern about new trend in terror

Erdogan slams Saudi demands of Qatar as illegal

Sudan making 'positive' steps on meeting US sanctions terms

Mecca suicide bombing injures six

Gulf crisis heats up as Qatar receives list of demands

Suicide attacks kill at least three people in Mosul

Civilians killed in Iraq suicide bomb attacks

UN warns Yemen cholera outbreak could infect 300,000 by September

Putin launches deep-water phase of TurkStream pipeline

Berlin warns Ankara against meddling in religious affairs

Asian states downplay 'Russia proposal' to send troops to Syria

Iran’s Salehi urges West to save historic nuclear deal

Iran, allies mark Jerusalem Day with rallies

US-led Syria strikes kill 472 civilians in one month

Morocco dismantles 'IS-linked cell plotting tourist attacks'

France sets out tough new anti-terror law

Russia warships, submarine strike IS targets in Syria

Trump-Saudi ties help pave way for new Saudi crown prince

Makeshift clinic saves lives near Syria’s Raqa