Nearly 1,400 dead since Syria rebel-jihadist clashes began

January 23, 2014 - 2:56:02 pm

BEIRUT: Nearly 1,400 people have been killed in Syria since clashes between rebel forces and the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant erupted this month, a monitor said Thursday.

"The number of people killed in fighting between the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Islamist and rebel forces since January 3 has risen to 1,395," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Observatory said the figure included 760 moderate and Islamist rebels, 426 ISIL fighters, 190 civilians and 19 others whose identities have not been established.

Clashes between rebels and jihadists from ISIL erupted early in January after months of rising tensions.

While opposition fighters initially welcomed foreign jihadists to the battle, ISIL has been accused of a string of abuses against civilians and rival rebel groups.

Among the abuses that sparked the fierce clashes was the kidnap, torture and execution by the group of a doctor from a powerful Islamist rebel brigade.

The all-out fight has seen ISIL lose territory in Idlib and Aleppo provinces. 

But it has consolidated its hold over Raqa city, the only provincial capital to fall from regime control. (AFP)