Syrian armed rebels 'help dozens to desert IS'

Aleppo : Around 40 militants have defected from the Islamic State in Syria's northern Aleppo province, aided by the main local armed group Faylaq al-Sham, the opposition Ara News website quoted a rebel spokesman as saying on Monday. The IS deserters are now in a safe location and will be "closely monitored" by rebels, Ara News cited rebel spokesman Ali Jafaar as saying. "Secret contract took place over the past two months between opposition factions and IS members wanting to defect," Jafaar said. IS militants shot dead Abu Ali al-Tunisi, a Tunisian commander of the jihadist group's operations in its self-declared capital of Raqqa in northern Syria, Ara News reported Sunday, quoting a local media activist, Ammar al-Hassan. The militants reportedly opened fire on al-Tunisi's car on late on Sunday, killing him and two of his escorts, according to Ara News. Clashes broke out between IS militants on news of Al-Tunisi's killing, which came amid escalating power struggles within IS over the number of foreign jihadists promoted to leadership positions and disputes over money, Ara News said.