Verbal disputes between Hizbullah and its ally the Syrian army escalated into unprecedented “fierce clashes” in the past two days in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo, a media report said on Friday.

“Several fighters from both sides were killed, amid reports that groups of Hizbullah fighters were bombed by regime warplanes,” the Saudi daily Asharq al-Awsat reported.

And as Syrian opposition sources noted that “it is not the first time that the two allies engage in clashes,” the Syrian opposition’s National Coalition official Samir Nashar told the newspaper that “the fighting resulted from an exchange of sectarian insults and mutual accusations of betrayal on the battlefield.”

The clashes led to “the death of an officer and seven members of the regime forces, who responded by shelling the Nubol and al-Zahraa area in the northern countryside,” Nashar said, adding that the fighting also “spread to Aleppo’s southern countryside, especially the al-Hader region and the areas around Khan Touman.”

Another National Coalition source told Asharq al-Awsat that “the disputes between the two sides are not new.”

“They are the result of Hizbullah’s acting as an occupation force in addition to its prevention of regime troops – who have a habit of trashing and robbing houses – from approaching or entering the areas that fall under the control” of the regime and its allies, the source said.