January 06, 2014
Second Syrian Civil War Breaks Out Among Rebels
Clashes between Syrian rebels and their rivals from an al-Qaeda-linked faction have spread from the country's opposition-held areas in the north to a key eastern city, activists have said.
Monday's rebel-on-rebel fighting in the eastern city of Raqqa, a long-time bastion of an al-Qaeda-linked group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), reflects a widening war within a war in Syria, as the Free Syrian Army tries to quell more hardline elements of the opposition.
Monday's offensive in Raqqa came after three powerful rebel alliances on Friday launched what they called a second "revolution" against ISIL in the northern province of Aleppo and Idlib to its west.
"The foreigners are being held in other buildings, outside Raqqa city," said the Observatory, a Britain-based group that tracks the conflict.
Another activist group, the Local Coordinating Committees, also reported the Raqqa clashes, saying they were focused around a city post office.
The Observatory said rebels had surrounded ISIL's chief compound in Raqqa and had liberated at least 50 detainees from a nearby prison.