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Nusra Front, Islamic State clash in Syria's Hama province

BEIRUT – Islamic State took control of some Syrian villages in a rebel-controlled area east of Hama on Monday, opening a new frontline days after the Syrian military said it had cleared Islamic State from a nearby area.

 

Islamic State said in a statement it had taken control of 12 villages and carried out a big attack on the jihadist alliance Tahrir al-Sham.

 

Tahrir al-Sham, spearheaded by al Qaeda's former affiliate the Nusra Front, said in its own statement that Islamic State had stormed several villages and accused the Syrian army of allowing it to cross government territory.

 

A war monitor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Islamic State had taken 15 villages from Tahrir al-Sham, but that the jihadist alliance then took five of them back.