Iraq News

130 killed in Syria in clashes with ISIL affiliate

More than 130 people, mostly combatants, have been killed in three days of fighting between extremists close to the "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) and opposition fighters in southern Syria, AFP reported Wednesday (February 22nd).

The clashes pit the Khaled Ben al-Walid Army -- which pledged allegiance to ISIL last year -- against Islamist opposition groups, including Ahrar al-Sham, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

At least 132 people had been killed in the fighting that raged in Daraa province near the border with Jordan.

The Khaled Ben al-Walid Army sparked the clashes with an attack on opposition fighters in the west of the southern province.

The pro-ISIL group has since seized three areas, including Sahem al-Jolan near the border and a hill overlooking the opposition-held town of Nawa, as it seeks to extend its influence in the area.

Daraa province, the cradle of the 2011 uprising against the Syrian regime, is mostly held by the opposition, but pro-regime forces and ISIL are also present.

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