ISIS and rebels in clashes

Groups bat­tle in north­ern Syria

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

Fight­ing in north­ern Syria be­tween Turkey-backed Syr­ian rebels and ISIS mil­i­tants killed at least 15 rebels as the op­po­si­tion tried to push to­ward a town of sym­bolic im­por­tance for the ex­trem­ists, an ac­tivist group and Turk­ish of­fi­cials said yes­ter­day.

In cen­tral Syria, mean­while, two sui­cide bombers struck in the city of Hama near an of­fice of Pres­i­dent Bashar Al As­sad’s Baath party, killing two peo­ple and wound­ing at least 12, state news agency SANA said.

The agency re­port said a sui­cide bomber det­o­nated his ex­plo­sives-packed belt in Hama’s Al Assi Square Mon­day, and an­other sui­cide bomber struck 15 min­utes later. SANA said one of the agency’s pho­tog­ra­phers, Ibrahim Ajaj, was wounded as he was cov­er­ing the ex­plo­sions, adding that he is in sta­ble con­di­tion.

The Bri­tain-based Syr­ian Ob­ser­va­tory for Hu­man Rights said the two ex­plo­sions killed two peo­ple and wounded 14.

Hama is Syria’s fourth largest city and has been rel­a­tively quiet in re­cent years. It’s firmly un­der the con­trol of Al As­sad’s forces. The twin bomb­ings came as var­i­ous in­sur­gent groups have been on the of­fen­sive north of the city. Sui­cide at­tacks in gov­ern­ment-held ar­eas are not un­com­mon, but such blasts in Hama have been rare.

The death toll among the Syr­ian rebels near the Turk­ish bor­der is the high­est since Turkey sent troops and tanks into Syria in Au­gust to help rebels re-take ISIS strongholds in the area and curb the ad­vance of a Syr­ian Kur­dish mili­tia, which Ankara views as an ex­ten­sion of Turkey’s out­lawed Kur­dish sep­a­ratists.

Turk­ish mil­i­tary of­fi­cials said 15 Syr­ian op­po­si­tion fight­ers were killed and about 35 wounded in the fight­ing, which seeks to cap­ture seven res­i­den­tial dis­tricts south of the town of Al Rai.

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