Violence in Aleppo and Idlib comes as protesters rally against al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Fighters from several Syrian rebel factions have engaged in fierce battles against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in what activists say is growing resistance to the al-Qaeda-linked group’s grip on several areas of the country.
Sixteen ISIL fighters were reportedly killed in the fighting in Aleppo and nearby Idlib on Friday, while at least 42 other ISIL fighters were wounded in Idlib alone.
Meanwhile, protesters in opposition-held parts of Syria chanted slogans condemning the al-Qaeda affiliate.
Ammar, an activist on the ground, described it as “the start of the revolution against ISIL”, according to AFP news agency.
“We are seeing clashes in more than one area, which could signal the coming of a major clash,” our correspondent said.
ISIL and Western-backed rebel forces are all fighting to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, but tensions between different groups have been rife in recent months.
Several opposition factions, including a number of fighters united under the name “Army of Mujahedeen”, were involved in Friday’s fighting, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and local activists.
Both the Islamic Front and the Syrian Revolutionaries Front, two key groups made up of tens of thousands of opposition fighters, also condemned ISIL on Friday.
“We call on ISIL to withdraw immediately from Atareb… and remind them that those who freed Atareb [from the Syrian government] are those you are fighting today,” the Islamic Front said.
In Idlib, 20 civilians were injured in the fighting, while a media activist was killed in Aleppo, AFP reported.