Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

The highs and lows of Cannes for the critics

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Remembering our friend and colleague Jean-Karim Fall

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Bad diplomacy, brawls & bromance

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Pitch Perfect's Brittany Snow becomes an urban warrior

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US President wraps up world tour in Italy (Part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US President wraps up world tour in Italy (Part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

The battle against illegal fishing in West Africa

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Trump has already quit the Paris climate deal - just not publicly

Read more

#TECH 24

The Ice Memory Project: A treasure trove for future scientists

Read more

Middle east

Syrian rebel factions tell al Qaeda groups to withdraw

© afp

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-10-03

Six of Syria's main rebel factions called on al Qaeda-linked ISIL militants to withdraw from the northern town of Azaz and from Homs province on Thursday. Hundreds of ISIL fighters have been advancing on Azaz, near Syria's border with Turkey.

Six of the most powerful rebel factions in Syria issued a joint statement on Thursday telling an Al-Qaeda front group to withdraw from the northern town of Azaz bordering Turkey.

In a separate statement, rebels in central Syria also called on the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to leave Homs province.

The statements came amid fresh clashes between ISIL militants and the mainstream rebel Northern Storm brigade in Azaz.

Hours before the statement by the six rebel groups was made public, hundreds of ISIL fighters were advancing towards the border post with Turkey near Azaz.

Major rebel groups Ahrar al-Sham, Liwa al-Tawhid and Jaysh al-Islam all signed the statement urging "our brothers in ISIL to withdraw their troops and vehicles to their main headquarters immediately".

The statement also called for "an immediate ceasefire" between ISIL and the Northern Storm brigade in Azaz.

It said both ISIL and the Northern Storm had to "resort immediately to the Islamic court, which will remain in session in Aleppo for 48 hours", to settle their differences.

The other three signatories to the statement were Suqur al-Sham, the Furqan brigades and Liwa al-Haq.

The signatories, all Islamists, have said they do not recognise the main opposition National Coalition or any other group that operates outside the country.

With a nationwide presence, the six factions fighting loyalists to President Bashar al-Assad are also seeking a wider political role, activists say.

Thursday's statement was the most powerful warning yet by Syria's main rebel groups to ISIL, whose fighters are trying to seize opposition-held areas.

ISIL took control of Azaz on September 18, after hours of fierce clashes with the Northern Storm brigade.

Because of the fighting, the Turkish authorities closed the Bab al-Salameh border crossing, a vital lifeline for rebels and civilians in opposition-held areas.

Meanwhile, in central Syria, the rebel Military Council in Rastan in Homs issued its own statement calling on ISIL to withdraw from the north of the battle-worn province.

The Military Council comprises several mainstream rebel groups.

(AFP)

 

Date created : 2013-10-03

  • SYRIA

    UN chemical weapons team arrives in Syria

    Read more

  • FRANCE - SYRIA

    Paris investigates French assets of Assad's uncle

    Read more

  • UNITED NATIONS

    UN adopts resolution on Syria chemical weapons

    Read more

COMMENT(S)