BEIRUT, Sept 5 : A battle between Islamic State group jihadists and rebels for control of an opposition stronghold in northern Syria has killed at least 47 fighters, a monitor said on Saturday.
Twenty Islamist and other rebel fighters were killed in the clashes in Aleppo province throughout Friday, along with 27 IS jihadists, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The fighting centred on the town of Marea, a key rebel bastion that IS has been trying to capture for months. The Observatory said fighting was ongoing around the town, which rebel forces still control, as well in villages in the surrounding area.
Meanwhile, a prominent Druze cleric known for criticising Syria's regime and Islamists was assassinated in a car bomb attack that killed 25 others and sparked riots outside the city of Sweida on Friday, a monitor said.
"Sheikh Wahid al-Balous was killed in a car bomb attack as he was driving on the outskirts of Sweida city," said Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. ?AFP