Monitor: Syria Islamists seize Turkey border crossing

The Islamic Front seized the Bab al-Hawa crossing in northwestern Syria

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Syria’s largest Islamist rebel force seized a crossing on the Turkish border Tuesday from other rebels, including brigades loyal to the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, a monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Islamic Front, a new grouping of the most powerful Islamist rebel groups battling to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, seized the Bab al-Hawa crossing in northwestern Syria.

The capture came after the Islamic Front seized arms depots near the crossing belonging to the Free Syrian Army at the weekend, heightening tensions among the fractured Syrian opposition.

Last week the Islamic Front rejected the authority of the FSA, which was the first major rebel force formed after the outbreak of Syria’s civil war and was made up of army deserters and civilians.

The Islamic Front was formed last month by six rebel groups that merged with the goal of overthrowing the Assad regime and establishing an Islamic state.

It does not include al-Nusra Front or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) -- two jihadist rebel groups linked to al-Qaeda.

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