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Rebels pushed back in Syria

Updated: 2014-01-07 07:38
( China Daily)

Syrian rebel fighters loyal to al-Qaida ceded ground near the Turkish border to rival Islamists on Sunday, activists said, in what seemed to be a tactical withdrawal to end clashes between Syrian- and foreign-led opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.

Syrian opposition activists said the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, allied to al-Qaida and featuring foreign jihadists among its commanders, had pulled back on Sunday from strongpoints including al-Dana and Atma in Idlib province, and that fighters from the Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham moved in.

"The Islamic State is pulling out without a fight. Its fighters are taking their weapons and heavy guns," activist Firas Ahmad said. He added that the ISIL fighters headed in the direction of Aleppo, where Assad's troops have stepped up pressure on rebel forces.

Rebels pushed back in Syria