Infighting erupts between moderate, radical rebels in northern Syrian: report

DAMASCUS, (PNA/Xinhua) — Infighting flared up between moderate and radical rebels the in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo, heightening tensions between the two forces that had fought together against government troops, media reported Thursday.

The report by pro-government media emerged from the towns of Bab and Azaz in Aleppo, which had been under the control of the moderate Free Syrian Army (FSA) before al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front tried to take them over.

Online videos in the past 24 hours showed Nusra fighters beheading rebels from the FSA. A new Nusra declaration called the FSA fighters “government agents” that should be “squashed.”

Yet, it is still unclear whether the small-scale infighting would spread to other rebel-held areas across Syria, which could deal a heavy blow to their insurgency against the government.

The FSA is seen by the West as a moderate rebel group compared with the Nusra Front, which was recently designated by Washington as a terrorist organization.

The Front had been reportedly fighting alongside the FSA against the army since the early stages of the 30-month-old conflict. While the reason behind their infighting remains unclear, reports have said Nusra executed three FSA rebels in a “massacre” operation two week after it forced people out of their homes in the town of Harbal in Aleppo.