News / Middle East

Syrian Kurds Capture Border Post

VOA News
A Syrian activist group says Kurdish fighters have captured a Syrian post on the Iraqi border

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Kurdish gunmen seized the Yarubiya post Saturday after three days of clashes with several rebel groups, including the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, and Jabhat al-Nusra.

The capture came hours after Syrian state-run TV reported the leader of Jabhat al-Nusra had been killed - a claim that if confirmed would be a huge blow to fighters trying to topple President Bashar al-Assad.

But soon after, conflicting reports began to emerge. Syrian state television did not give any details except to say Abu Mohammad al-Golani had been killed in the coastal province of Latakia.

Later Friday, it removed the report from its website without explanation.

Other reports also emerged denying that al-Golani was dead.

The extremist group, also known as Nusra Front, is on a U.S. State Department list of terrorist organizations. The powerful al-Qaida-linked group has emerged as one of the most effective among rebel groups fighting the Assad government.

Golani's death would be a huge blow to rebels who have been fragmented and outgunned by Assad's forces.

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