Al-Hr militia seized a compound held by Al-Qaeda-linked militants Sunday as their one-time allies used car bombs against them, some of the most serious infighting between fighters battling in Syra.
The militants-on-militants fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant is the strongest pushback yet from Syrian opposition against al-Qaeda forces seeking to impose Islamic rule in opposition-held portions of the country.
The clashes began Friday after residents accused the Al-Qaeda-linked fighters of killing a doctor in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo. Fighting quickly spread to opposition-held areas of the northeast province of Idlib and the central province of Hama.
By Sunday, clashes also were reported in the town of Tabqa in the eastern province of Raqqa, where ISIL forces are most dominant .
Opposition militants seized the ISIL compound in the town of Manbij in the northern province of Aleppo. ISIL fighters also used car bombs for the first time to defend its territory. Other activists reported ISIL had been pushed out of the town of Atmeh.
There has always been resentment against ISIL, whose fighters, a mix of foreigners and Syrians, fanned into Syria .
Some activists hailed the fight against ISIL as a second revolution, but it wasn't clear if the fighting against the al-Qaeda group could unite already chaotic opposition groups.
The groups battling ISIL come from a series of different brigade coalitions, some who are also rivals to each other.
The Western-backed opposition coalition in exile has welcomed the attacks on ISIL, as it sees the group as hijacking its efforts.
But the potential loss of militants-held territory as infighting persists also threatens to weaken Syria's already bruised opposition ahead of an international peace conference scheduled for this month to try hammer out the future of their country.
Syrian al-Watan newspaper appeared to welcome the infighting, offering this as a headline to an editorial Sunday: "Terrorism eats its sons".