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Syrian Rebel Alliance Battles Al Qaeda-linked Fighters

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January 04, 2014 AT 5:36 AM
An alliance of Islamist and other rebel factions battled fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant across north-western Syria on Saturday in apparently coordinated strikes against the powerful al Qaeda-linked group. Activists said dozens of fighters had been killed in the clashes, which started on Friday and may have been provoked by increasing resentment against the radical ISIL fighters, many of them foreign jihadis. One group of fighters battling the ISIL was the newly formed Mujahideen Army, an alliance of eight brigades who accused the al Qaeda affiliate of hijacking their struggle to topple President Bashar al-Assad.