Nusra Front Expels ISIS-Linked Rebel Group from North Homs

Al-Bayyadha Battalion forced to leave northern Homs for pledging allegiance to ISIS, Nusra confirms

The Nusra Front has expelled al-Bayyadha Battalion, an 80-member strong rebel group, from northern Homs province for pledging allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS), according to a statement by Al-Qaeda's Syrian wing.

Earlier this week, Nusra fighters seized checkpoints belonging to al-Bayyadha Battalion in the villages of Staihat and al Zeitouna, as well Alhomr and Ajjoub hills.

Nusra accused the Battalion of preparing suicide attacks against its bases as well as civilians in the northern countryside of Homs.

Nusra fighters opened fire last Wednesday on al-Bayyadha Battalion's commander, Abdel Basset al-Saroot, a vocal supporter of the rebels and an icon of the Syrian uprising. Saroot narrowly escaped death while two of his soldiers were killed in the fighting, activists said.

A former soccer goalkeeper, Saroot is thought to have survived at least three assassination attempts since the revolution erupted in March 2011.

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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