MIDEAST > Al-Qaeda linked group seizes complete control of Syrian border town with Turkey: Activists

BEIRUT - Agence France-Presse

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 An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on August 23, 2013 allegedly shows a member of Ussud Al-Anbar (Anbar Lions), a Jihadist group affiliated to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. AFP photo / YouTube

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on August 23, 2013 allegedly shows a member of Ussud Al-Anbar (Anbar Lions), a Jihadist group affiliated to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. AFP photo / YouTube

An Al-Qaeda front group fighting in Syria on Sept. 18 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 development comes amid increasing reports of fighting in northern Syria between ISIS and non-jihadist rebels vying to bring down President Bashar al-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 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.


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turkic voice

9/21/2013 2:04:57 AM

the land these ninjas are holding has not been fought for, there was no military present in the area. its like going into a abandon town and claiming you conquered it but if you arm them they will march on. these guys have hatred for Israel and America wants to boost them up to topple Assad. then what you fools?????

Ken Alden

9/20/2013 9:22:44 PM

@American-American, it should have been obvious to you by now that Turkey does not listens to the drumbeat of Sunni-Shia issues. The Moslem World , as a whole has adapted and adheares to the direction of the OIC, i.e Organisation of Islamic countries, that has worked well for over 30 (thirty) years! At this point, one should think that a "Liberal mainded" individual like yourself, could find another hatred pony to beliitle Islam. What a shame, you live in a Glass House and trowing Stones.

ilker avni

9/20/2013 1:21:02 AM

@america america Can those men in pajamas run? And how fast,away from Turkish Airforce f16s,who will fry them with napalm,a couple of hours problem gone.Never underestimate Turkeys armed forces,NATO member,trained to fight communist Russia for fifty years,just a reminder america america,we saved your ass in Korea,only country to have received two citation in Korea,Macthur called Turkish brigade,the HEROES OF HEROES.for saveing American 8th and 9th corp.

ilker avni

9/20/2013 12:57:23 AM

Turkey will never except terroists setting up camp on its borders,Turkish airforce will sweep them out in a few hours,when given the order.Assad is cleaver he is not fighting along Turkeys border he is not sending his might in those area,is main forces are defending the capital and major cities.Turkey will be getting more and more involved,with its airforce to begin with supporting the good guys and protecting its border with Syria.

turkic voice

9/20/2013 12:51:33 AM

@ American American I believe the pyjama boys will eventually over run Syria and press against your friends the Israelis who will ask for your help along with a combined effort from three fronts to confine this new threat. it will be a Turkish neighbour to Israel soon in the end. the carful one should be the Americans non of this should have started. now lets see it unfold and this is the direction it will go.

Ken Alden

9/19/2013 3:15:01 PM

This political grouping, by sizing control at the Turkish border, wants to create instability in that area thus force Turkey to intervene inSyria! One must hope that cooler heads prevail in Turkey and just strenghten their ovwn side of the crossing and police the general area.

american american

9/19/2013 3:13:30 PM

yıldız, this is also in the interests of turkey. sunni vs. shi`a. israel ain`t gonna lead the caliphate

Recep Ozel

9/19/2013 1:38:19 PM

This will mean more bombs and deaths in Turkey. Thanks AKP.

Yıldız pascale

9/19/2013 1:32:00 PM

When you question people in Damascus, they all love Assad and say they are feeling safe as long as he s ruling. When you look at Australia, thousands of people march saying "Hands off Syria" "We love Assad". This war is all about US interest in the Middle East in protecting the safety of Israel. Its a big shame that Turkey is leading actor in that theatrical play.

american american

9/19/2013 12:47:55 PM

becareful turkic voice, those men in the black pajamas are going to be more than a match for turkey's conscripts
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