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Monday, May 16, 2016, Jaistha 2, 1423 BS, Shaban 8, 1437 Hijri

?Rebel infighting near Damascus kills hundreds?
Syrian forces retake hospital after ?major? IS offensive
Published :Monday, 16 May, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 23
BEIRUT, May 15 : Syrian government forces retook a hospital in Deir al-Zor after Islamic State attacked it on Saturday following a dawn offensive by the militants on the besieged eastern Syrian city, a war monitor and state media said.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors Syria's five-year-long war, said Islamic State had killed at least 35 members of the Syrian armed forces and detained some medical staff from the hospital.
The fighting in and around the hospital also killed at least 24 Islamic State fighters, the Observatory said.
Islamic State's Amaq news agency said its fighters staged a "major offensive" on the southwestern edge of Deir al-Zor on Saturday, storming the Assad Hospital and cutting the supply route between the a Syrian army base and the airport.
Islamic State controls most of Deir al-Zor province and has laid siege since March last year to the remaining government-held areas in the city of the same name, which is close to Syria's eastern border with Iraq.
Deir al-Zor province links Islamic State's de facto capital in the Syrian city of Raqqa with territory controlled by the militant group in neighboring Iraq.
Islamic State also said it had taken control of a check point, a fire station, university accommodation, grain silos and some territory near the al-Tayyam oil fields, in the vicinity of the state-held military airport on the city's southern edge.
Russia's RIA state news agency on Saturday reported a source within the airbase on the southern edge of the city as saying an Islamic State attack had been repelled.
Meanwhile, fighting raging between rival Islamist rebel factions to control a key opposition stronghold near Damascus since late last month has killed more than 300 fighters, a monitor said on Sunday.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the clashes in Eastern Ghouta pitted the Saudi-backed Jaish al-Islam faction, which has been taking part in peace talks in Geneva, against the Faylaq al-Rahman and Jaish al-Fustat groups, both led by Al-Nusra Front, Syria's Al-Qaeda affiliate.
"More than 300 fighters have been killed as Islamist rebel factions battle for influence in the Eastern Ghouta," since April 28, Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.
He said most of the rebels killed belonged to Jaish al-Islam or Al-Nusra.    ?REUTERS, AFP

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