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MIDEAST >Turkey-backed Syrian rebels clash with Syrian army in north

BEIRUT/ISTANBUL

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Turkey-backed Syrian rebel groups clashed with government forces near a city in northern Syria that the rebels recently captured from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), sources on both sides said.

The fighting late on Feb. 26 took place in an area where the sides are waging separate campaigns against ISIL.
Russia, which backs the Syrian government, mediated to bring an end to the confrontation, according to a source in the military alliance fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to Reuters. 

The incident occurred near the city of al-Bab, which Ankra-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels captured last week from ISIL. Syrian government forces on Feb. 26 announced the capture of the town of Tadef, 4 km (2.5 miles) to the south.

A rebel official in touch with one of the FSA groups taking part in the Turkey-backed campaign in northern Syria said rebels had opened fire on Feb. 26 in response to an attempt by government forces to advance closer to al-Bab.

An FSA statement said “22 regime members” were killed.

A Syrian military source said the rebels had “targeted our forces in Tadef with artillery and machine guns,” Reuters reported. The source gave no casualty toll.

February/27/2017

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