Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Qaeda seizes Syria-Turkey border town

19 September 2013, 08:30

Beirut - An al-Qaeda front group fighting in Syria on Wednesday overran the northern town of Azaz near the border with Turkey after fierce clashes with rebels, activists told AFP.

"The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) has seized complete control of Azaz. They are in control of the town's entrances," said Abu Ahmad, an activist inside the town.

Another activist, a resident of the border town, confirmed the report.

"Isis are in full control. They are detaining people from their homes, and they are manning all the checkpoints," he told AFP via the Internet, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was more cautious in its reporting on Isis's advances in Azaz, and its Britain-based director Rami Abdel Rahman said the group was not yet in full control.

"Isis snipers are deployed all over Azaz. They have made major advances," he told AFP.

Abdel Rahman also said "there is growing popular resentment against Isis", amid multiplying reports of kidnappings, summary executions and other abuses in areas where they operate.

The development in Azaz comes amid increasing reports of fighting in northern Syria between Isis and non-jihadist rebels vying to bring down President Bashar Assad's regime.

In a sign that Syria's conflict has grown highly localised in recent months, Isis has fought side by side with rebels against government troops in other areas of the country.

In Azaz, reports emerged of continuing clashes.

Abu Ahmad said that after seizing the town, Isis fighters were "on their way to the [nearby] Bab al-Salameh" border crossing with Turkey.

Bab al-Salameh has for months been under control of local rebels, chiefly the Northern Storm brigade.

News of the reported seizure of Azaz came after a battle lasting several hours between Northern Storm fighters and Isis.

Among those reported killed in the clashes was Omar Diab, a media activist from Azaz.

Better known by his pseudonym Hazem al-Azizi, Diab's killing triggered an outpouring of anger against Isis on activists' online platforms.

The Northern Storm brigade meanwhile issued an online statement calling on other rebel groups nearby to "move directly towards Azaz, to protect the town and free it from Isis".



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...