Al-Qaeda Syria Branch Executes Dozens of Rivals: Activists

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The Islamist State of Iraq and the Levant has killed dozens of rival rebels in Syria over the last couple of days as the Al-Qaeda-linked group regained most of the territory it lost in the northeastern Raqqa province, according to activists.

Al-Qaeda Syria Branch Executes Dozens of Rivals: Activists

Up to 100 rebel fighters from the Nusra Front, another Al-Qaeda-linked group, and Ahrar al-Sham brigade were executed after being captured by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the town of Tel Abiad, on the border with Turkey, Reuters quoted activists as saying.

"About 70 bodies, most shot in the head, were collected and sent to the Raqqa National hospital," an unnamed activist said. "Many of those executed had been wounded in the fighting. The fact that Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham are ideologically similar to the ISIL did not matter.”

The in-fighting between rebel groups and ISIL intensified over the past week, RT reported.

According to opposition sources, Nusra Front's commander for Raqqa province Abu Saad al-Hadram was among the militants killed over the weekend.

Activists said that the ISIL was able to recapture much of its stronghold in Raqqa with its offensive. Also, they gained back control over Tel Abyad, a town on the border with Turkey, over the weekend.

A member of the opposition Syrian National Coalition from Raqqa, Abdallah Farraj, believes that rebels will have a hard time getting rid of ISIL’s control over Raqqa.

"The rebels lack the organization and the firepower to win. It will be difficult to defeat ISIL without military strikes from someone like Turkey," Farraj said.

On top of that, groups like Ahrar al-Sham are choosing not to fight ISIL, as they have relatives inside the militant group.

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