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Al-Nusra Clashes With Syrian Rebels, Capturing Bases

Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, the Al-Nusra Front, has seized bases and weapons from a Western-backed rebel group in fighting in northwestern Syria.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on March 13 that the Al-Nusra Front also detained dozens of members of the 13th Division rebel group, one of the factions of the Free Syrian Army backed by the West.

The 13th Division, which is led by the prominent rebel commander Ahmad al-Siud, said on Twitter that Al-Nusra Front fighters attacked its bases and seized weapons in the town of Maarat al-Numan in Idlib Province early on March 13.

The group gave no other details.

The clashes came two weeks into a cessation of hostilities in Syria and on the eve of peace talks in Geneva between President Bashar al-Assad's government and opposition groups.

The halt in fighting, agreed by government forces, rebel groups, and their international backers, excludes the Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State militants.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters