A car bomb blamed on the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq the Levant (ISIL) killed at least 26 people in northern Syria Wednesday.
Hours earlier, a Belgian commander from the same group was reported killed, also in the north of the country, although ISIL supporters denied the death.
Opposition militant groups, including the so called Islamic Front alliance, have been trying to push out ISIL, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda with a core of foreign fighters. Hundreds of opposition militants have been killed in the clashes, which have taken place in around half a dozen provinces, mainly in the north.
The opposition observatory said most of those killed in the car bomb in Jarablus were from rival opposition groups, though it counted at least three civilians. It said the death toll was likely to rise, as dozens more were severely wounded.
ISIL fighters have been losing territory in the area around Jarablus, in Aleppo governorate , though they have recaptured much of the northern overrates of Raqqa and Aleppo.
Since his Jan. 6 warning, Islamist and opposition militants' positions have been hit by jihadists’ suicide attacks – mostly car bombs – in Aleppo, Idlib and Raqqa governorate , which have killed dozens of opposition militants.
A former ally of Syria’s opposition militants , ISIL has become hated for its quest for hegemony and its systematic abuses against rivals, activists and journalists, among them Westerners.
More than 700 jihadist and opposition militants have been killed in 12 days of combat pitting the two sides against each other.
On Tuesday night, ISIL set free dozens of Islamist militants who had been captured in Raqqa during the recent battles. Earlier that day, militants fighting the jihadists withdrew from the province.
The contradictions at play in the war were highlighted further east, in the city of Qamishli, where several thousand people attended the funeral of 39 Kurds killed in fighting with Islamist militias during a campaign that began in late December.
The Kurdish fighters were from the PYD, which is at odds with the opposition coalition. The fighters were killed in battles with ISIL and groups from the so called Islamic Front – the same sides that are locked in bloody clashes elsewhere areas.