Double Al Qaeda bomb attack kills at least 16 rebels in Aleppo
A double bomb attack in Aleppo carried out by Al Qaeda-affiliated group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), claimed the lives of at least 16 Syrian rebel fighters on Sunday, an NGO said.
The attack, which took place in the town of al-Ra'ei, not far from the Syrian border with Turkey, also injured another 20 rebel fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
An ISIS fighter blew himself up at the headquarters of an Islamist rebel brigade in the Aleppo town, while a car bomb detonated outside at the same time, the Observatory said.
The Observatory said the bombings came as fighters gathered at the headquarters to discuss the possibility of a truce in the fighting with ISIS that has raged throughout rebel-controlled areas.
The bomber had reportedly offered to negotiate with the rebels in the name of ISIS, but detonated an explosive belt inside the headquarters.
According to Agence France-Presse, the rebels were Islamist brigades that have joined moderate rebels in fighting the jihadist ISIS since the beginning of a backlash in early January.
The rebel-jihadist clashes have killed around 1,400 people since they began, although the Observatory says the real toll is likely much higher because both sides are secretive about their losses.
Meanwhile, the ISIS has formed two female battalions in Syria’s northern city of Raqqa, pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat reported on Sunday.
The battalions were reportedly launched as part of ISIS’ efforts to “expose male activists who disguise in women’s clothing to avoid detention when stopping at the ISIS checkpoints.”