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A group monitoring the Syria conflict reported on Thursday, July 30, that Syria's al-Qaeda branch, al-Nusra Front, has kidnapped a commander of a U.S.-backed opposition group.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Nadeem al-Hassan, the leader of the secular Brigade 30, and seven of his comrades were seized at an al-Nusra-manned checkpoint on the outskirts of the northern Aleppo province.

"They were detained after they emerged from a meeting in the town of Azaz, on the northern edge of Aleppo, with other U.S.-supported opposition groups,’’ the Britain-based Observatory said.

The meeting was aimed at coordinating a military offensive against the radical Islamic State (IS) militia in Aleppo.
It was not clear when the alleged abduction occurred.

Activists in the area said that al-Hassan and his comrades were among the first batch of secular rebels trained by the U.S. to fight the government Islamic State and the IS extremist group.

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