Syria infighting kills 19 near Turkish border
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At least 19 people have been killed in an outbreak of infighting among foreign-backed militants in Syrian towns along the Turkish border. On Friday, heavy clashes took place between militants from the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and those of the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) in the town of Azaz, The Associated Press reported. Members of the al-Qaeda-linked group also fought against Kurds around the town of Ras al-Ain, said a Kurdish activist, Bassam al-Ahmed. According to opposition sources, 14 al-Qaeda-linked militants and four Kurdish gunmen were killed in the clashes. An FSA member, who identified himself as Abu Raed, also said a soldier from the Northern Storm brigade, which is part of the foreign-backed group, was killed in Azaz. Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria. In a recent statement, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said the number of Syrian refugees, who have fled the 30-month-long conflict, reached two million. The UN refugee agency also said some 4.2 million people have also been displaced inside Syria since the beginning of the conflict in the Arab country.