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Damascus, Syria – Clashes broke out Friday between fighters of the al-Nusra Front (Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) and rebels of the Hazm Movement in the western countryside of Aleppo. The clashes followed attacks by Nusra militants against strongholds of Hazm in Aleppo earlier on Thursday, activists reported.
The Al-Nusra group took control Thursday of the Hazm Movement’s headquarters in Salman Camp in the western countryside of Aleppo after a fierce battle between the two sides in the vicinity of the towns of Atareb and Orim.
The clashes spread then to the vicinity of the town of Kafrnouran, Sheikh Ali and al-Muhandisin areas in the western countryside of Aleppo.
A number of Syrian armed opposition factions intervened in an attempt to stop the fighting between both sides, but the al-Nusra fighters pledged to continue what they described as “the campaign of eliminating spoilers”.
The Al-Nusra group issued a statement (of which ARA News received a copy) explaining the reasons behind its operations against the Movement in Aleppo, saying: “Members of the Hazm armed movement kidnapped two of our Mujahideens (Jihadists) during their return to their homes from battles against Assad regime.”
“After the failure of negotiations between the two sides, the Front (al-Nusra) has taken proper path (which is fighting) of liberating the Mujahideen brothers (detained militants held by Hazm),” the statement read.
The Nusra militants regained the military camp in the village of Salman on Friday.
Nusra leadership accused Hazm fighters of bombing villages and towns in Aleppo countryside, which reportedly caused the death of a number of civilians in the villages of Sheikh Ali and Sahhara.
The Hazm movement is one branch of Syrian rebels, which the al-Nusra Front engaged in battles with, seizing all their weapons as well as their headquarters in the countryside of Idlib and Zawiya mountain months ago.
Reporting by: Mohammed Darwish
Source: ARA News