Al-Qaeda group loses key post to rivals in Syria, says watchdog

Photo: Al-Qaeda group loses key post to rivals in Syria, says watchdog / Arab World

Syrian rebels have captured the headquarters of a rival rebel group linked to al-Qaeda in northern Syria, a pro-opposition watchdog reported on Wednesday.

Fighters from several Islamist groups overran the premises of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the city of Aleppo, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, dpa reported.

Dozens of detainees were freed from the headquarters, housed in a children's hospital, according to the report.

"The fate of hundreds of the ISIL fighters, who were in the place, is not clear yet," the Observatory said.

The fighting, pitting secular and moderate Islamist opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against ISIL insurgents, has continued in northern and eastern Syria for almost a week. Dozens of people have reportedly been killed.

The Syrian conflict, which has lasted for nearly three years, has resulted in several radical groups imposing strict Islamic rule in areas under their control.

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