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January 10, 2014 AT 5:00 AM
Al Qaeda-linked jihadists struck back against rival rebels in eastern and northern Syria on Friday after a week of internecine fighting among opponents of President Bashar al-Assad in which 500 people have been killed, a monitoring group said. A coordinated offensive by armed groups had seized several strongholds of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in Aleppo, on the border with Turkey, and further east in Raqqa - the only city under control of Assad's foes. But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said ISIL fighters pushed back rival rebels on the eastern approaches of Raqqa on Friday. They also killed 20 fighters in the town of Al-Bab, north-east of Aleppo, the monitoring group said.