Kurdish rebels on Saturday took control of a key border crossing between Syria and Iraq, in an effort to prevent al-Qaeda-linked groups from entering the region, a Britain-based watchdog said.

Following three days of fighting with the al-Qaeda-linked fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and al-Nusra Front, the Kurdish rebels seized the al-Yaroubiyeh crossing in al-Hasaka province, north-eastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

According to the opposition watchdog, fighting is still ongoing inside the village of Tel Kowjar.

Al-Yaroubiyeh is the main crossing point with Iraq. Its capture would give the Kurdish militiamen a direct supply line from Iraq’s northern Kurdish region.

Such battles between rebel groups have become regular in Syria, especially in the north, adding more complexity to the two-and-a-half-year conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people.

Meanwhile, UN envoy on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi is expected in Tehran, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s main ally, to discuss the proposed Geneva II peace talks.

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