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Syria rebel group Anfal Brigade defects to regime.

Summary: Opposition figures Monday sought to play down the defection of a 60-man rebel group in the Damascus suburbs to the regime side over the weekend.

BEIRUT: Opposition figures Monday sought to play down the defection of a 60-man rebel group in the Damascus suburbs to the regime side over the weekend. Fighters from the Anfal Brigade, which opposition media outlets said was drawn primarily from the Damascus suburb of Dhiyabieh, fled en masse to a nearby regime-held area, amid reports that the fighters had agreed to join the National Defense paramilitary group. Maj. Esam al-Rayyes, a spokesman for Free Syrian Army rebels, told a pro-opposition media outlet that the Anfal Brigade was an independent group with no links to larger alliances of rebels. Rayyes said that in fleeing to regime-held territory, the Anfal fighters had managed to exploit tension and clashes in the Damascus suburbs between the Nusra Front and rebel groups in recent days.

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Publication:The Daily Star (Beirut, Lebanon)
Geographic Code:7SYRI
Date:Mar 10, 2015
Words:171
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