Northern Syrian town falls into hands of al Qaeda affiliate
Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 01:15
Sept. 19 - Fighting among different rebel groups, including an al Qaeda affiliate, forces more Syrians to flee the country into Turkey. Nathan Frandino reports.
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Carrying guns and their pride, rebels from the Free Syrian Army are reinforcing a crossing in northern Syria.
New amateur video appears to show rebels from the al-Tawhid Brigade unit arriving at the Bab al-Salamah crossing on the Turkish border.
Their goal? Defend the border against al Qaeda.
This comes after Iraq and the Levant, a rebel group affiliated with al Qaeda, overran nearby Azaz.
The town was previously held by the Free Syrian Army and at one point was home to nearly 50,000 refugees.
Reuters cannot independently verify the video, which came from a social media website.
The fighting between the rebel groups has continued to force many Syrians to cross into Turkey, including this resident of Azaz.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN RESIDENT FROM AZAZ, ABU SAID, SAYING:
"What happened was, basically, each of these two groups wanted to enter the area that is controlled by the other. Azaz has been in the hands of the Free Syrian Army for a very long time and the groups that came from Iraq and Damascus wanted to storm the city because of a long-standing dispute."
The fighting could pose a dilemma for the Turkish government, which has allowed militant Islamist fighters to cross into Syria, but it may not be keen to see an al Qaeda presence so close to its border.
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