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Syrian rebels seize town from fighters loyal to IS group: Rebels, monitor

Reuters , Saturday 9 Apr 2016
Children play near barricades in a street, which serve as protection from snipers loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, in Aleppo's rebel-controlled Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood, Syria April 6, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)
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Rebels seized a town in southern Syria from groups loyal to Islamic State (IS) group just a day after fighters captured another town from the hardline militants in a separate insurgent assault in the north, a rebel source and a monitoring group said.

The rebels had by late on Friday taken control of Tasil in Deraa province that is near the Jordanian border and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the source and the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

They drove out fighters from the Yarmouk Martyrs' Brigade and the Muthanna Movement, which they said were groups loyal to IS group.

"Our battle continues against them, until we have cleansed the area of them," said Abu Ghiath al-Shami, a spokesman for the Alwiyat Seif al-Sham group that is part of a rebel alliance in the south.

He described the latest attacks against the hardline militants as a "widened campaign against Daesh", using an Arabic acronym for IS group.

It was the second blow dealt by insurgents fighting against IS group or Islamic State-linked fighters in as many days.

In a separate assault in the north of the country near the Turkish border on Thursday, rebel forces took over a town that had been the main stronghold of IS in the northern Aleppo countryside.

A cessation of hostilities agreement in Syria that began on Feb. 27 has slowed fighting in some areas in western Syria but has not halted the violence. IS group and the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front are not included in the truce.

The Syrian army and its allies, backed by Russian air power, are separately fighting against Islamic State.

Clashes between the government and non-jihadist rebels have continued in some areas during the ceasefire. 

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