Syrian Rebels, Jihadists Clash, Killing 19

Al-Qaeda accuses rival rebels of launching offensive against them

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, fighting has broken out in northern Syria, along the frontier between Aleppo Province and Idlib Province, where forces from the Turkish-backed Nureddine al-Zinki and al-Qaeda’s Tahrir al-Sham engaged in major battles.

The fighting erupted on Monday, with al-Qaeda claiming the Nureddine al-Zinki attacked their positions and killed five of their members. A counter-offensive was quickly mustered.

In the end, at least 19 were killed, including two civilians, and 35 people were wounded. Though the two sides have clashes repeatedly over this same area, there is no sign any territory has actually changed hands.

It’s not clear what provoked this push into the territory, as while the two sides do often fight, Turkish-backed forces are moving eastward for an offensive against the Kurds. This would make it a particularly odd time to attack al-Qaeda.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.