Reuters reports: The al Qaeda-linked Islamist State of Iraq and the Levant executed dozens of rival Islamists over the last two days as the group recaptured most territory it had lost in the northeastern Syrian province of Raqqa, activists said on Sunday.
One of the activists, who spoke from the province on condition of anonymity, said up to 100 fighters from the Nusra Front, another al Qaeda affiliate, and the Ahrar al-Sham brigade, captured by ISIL in the town of Tel Abyad on the border with Turkey, the nearby area of Qantari and the provincial capital city of Raqqa, were shot dead.
There was no independent confirmation of the report.
“About 70 bodies, most shot in the head, were collected and sent to the Raqqa National hospital,” the activist said.
“Many of those executed had been wounded in the fighting. The fact that Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham are ideologically similar to the ISIL did not matter,” he added. [Continue reading…]
Whether ISIS and the Assad regime have direct lines of communication and are coordinating their fight is purely a matter of speculation, but what seems indisputable is that their interests so closely overlap they are essentially fighting on the same side.
Abdallah al-Sheikh, an activist in northern Syria, said Assad’s forces had began bombarding areas from which ISIL had withdrawn, such as the town of Maarat Misreen and parts of Aleppo city.
“ISIL have been doing Assad a huge favour by killing many of the formidable rebel commanders and the regime has chosen to help it by not touching many of the areas it had taken. As soon as it withdrew, the bombing resumed,” he said.