Syrian rebels clash with civilians in al-Bab, 7 dead

A faction of rebel fighters enter al-Bab on Sunday. Photo courtesy of al-Bab Eastern Countryside News.

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SULAIMANI — Clashes between Syrian rebel factions and local civilians erupted in al-Bab in northern Aleppo province on Sunday (May 6) that resulted in seven being killed and more than fifty being injured.

Large number of rebels and civilians, who up until recently had been in rebel-held enclaves, have recently arrived in northern Syria after being allowed to leave as a result of negotiated settlements with the Russians and the Assad Regime.

Oftentimes, the fighters are allowed to keep their light weapons, while surrendering their heavy weaponry. This influx has created difficulties with local, civilian and military authorities.

The al-Bab Local Council announced in a statement published via Facebook Monday (May 7) that it was opening an investigation into what it called “an attack on the city” by the Free Syrian Army (FSA)-affiliated rebel faction Ahrar a-Sharqiya the day before.

According to Syria Direct, the group claimed that the clashes broke out after a family refused to hand over members of the household who shot at a recently arrived faction from East Qalamoun.

A brigade of Turkish-backed rebel fighters separated the warring parties on Sunday and the city was reportedly calm on Monday.

Al-Bab is largely controlled by a patchwork of Ankara-backed FSA rebel factions while an opposition-run local council handles civilian affairs.

“What happened in al-Bab is a combination of two issues: the spread of firearms and incursions by military factions into civilian matters within the city,” Mohammad Faris, a member of the legislative office for the al-Bab Local Council, told Syria Direct on Monday.

Faris and other council members are working to resolve both issues, he said in an interview with Syria Direct.

The opposition-run body is “currently coordinating with the civil and military police” as well as Turkish authorities to prevent future incursions by rebel factions into civilian areas, Mohammad al-Najjar, a spokesman for the local council, told Syria Direct on Monday.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published similar reports.

This humanitarian situation in the area has recently worsened due to local flooding.

(NRT/Syria Direct)