TribLIVE

| USWorld

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Al-Qaida fighters pushed from much of northern Syria, but fight goes on

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By McClatchy Newspapers
Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, 7:30 p.m.
 

Moderate and Islamist rebel groups on Sunday pressed their drive to oust radical Islamists from northern Syria, but they met fierce resistance in three towns, anti-government activists said.

In a surprise offensive that began Friday, remnants of the U.S.-backed Free Syrian Army and fighters from another rebel faction, the Islamic Front, this weekend cleared more than a dozen bases held by the al-Qaida-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

But the rebels were unable to oust ISIS from its main headquarters at Ad Dana, near the Turkish border, and the towns of Kfar Zeta in Hama province and Saraqeb in Idlib province. ISIS reportedly had dispatched reinforcements from its stronghold in Raqqa province to Aleppo, Syria's second-largest city.

Although fighting continues, the intra-rebel conflict ended a four-month ISIS offensive. Claiming it was seeking to build a caliphate, the Iraq-based ISIS seized more than 20 locations controlled by the Western-backed Free Syrian Army and kidnapped its military commanders and prominent leaders of more moderate Islamist groups. Its relations with the public soured, as ISIS, which consists mostly of non-Syrian volunteers, set up a reign of religious tyranny wherever it got a foothold.

Syria's much-maligned opposition coalition, which calls for a democracy, rule of law and a secular state but which has been largely eclipsed by both ISIS and the Islamic Front in recent months, seemed buoyed by the sudden change of fortune.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Comets hold life building blocks
  2. Al-Qaida branch in Syria threatens U.S.-backed forces
  3. Vibrantly colored mural spread across 200 homes in central Mexico city
  4. Bin Laden relatives among crash casualties
  5. Talks fail to yield accord in Pacific
  6. Taliban fracture outcome unclear
  7. Zimbabwe suspends hunts amid outcry over lion’s death
  8. Senate to grill United Nations agency chief Amano on Iran nuclear pact
  9. Al-Qaida group in Syria targeted by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes
  10. Afghan intelligence: Taliban leader Mullah Omar dead 2 years
  11. Experimental Ebola vaccine could stop virus in West Africa