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52 dead as jihadists make gains in northern Syria: monitor

An image made available by Jihadist media outlet Welayat Raqa on June 30, 2014, allegedly shows a member of the Islamic state militant group parading in a street in the northern rebel-held Syrian city of RaqaJihadists of the Islamic State (IS) group seized a string of villages in northern Syria on Wednesday in fighting that left 52 people dead, a monitoring group said. The jihadists captured eight villages between second city Aleppo and the Turkish border, buoyed by their successes in neighbouring Iraq, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. They killed at least 40 fighters of rival rebel groups and captured at least 50 more for the loss of 12 of their own men, the Britain-based group said. IS already controls almost all of the Euphrates valley provinces of Raqa and Deir Ezzor and has been making gains further west at the expense of rival rebel groups which it has been fighting since December.

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