The U.S. backed "Syrian Democratic Forces" (SDF) have launched an imperative offensive to capture the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham's (ISIS) stronghold of Menbeij in the Aleppo Governorate's northeastern countryside on Thursday afternoon.
This news from Menbeij comes just two weeks after the Syrian Democratic Forces - backed by the U.S. and Russian Air Forces - captured the strategic Tishreen Dam that links the Aleppo and Al-Raqqa Governorates in northern Syria.
The city of Menbeij is situated just south of the Turkish border and directly west of the Al-Raqqa Governorate; its capture would leave ISIS in a difficult situation at Jarabulus (Aleppo Governorate) and 'Ayn Issa (Al-Raqqa Governorate).
ISIS has long controlled this area without any-sort of resistance from the Kurdish forces, the Islamists (Nusra, FSA, and Ahrar Al-Sham), and the Syrian Arab Army (SAA); this is due in large part to the substantial amount of territory under the control of the self-proclaimed "Caliphate" (Arabic var. "Khalifa").
Both the U.S. and Russian Air Forces have aided the Syrian Democratic Forces in their war against ISIS; however, the Russians have become more active as of late, striking several ISIS and Jabhat Al-Nusra (Syrian Al-Qaeda group) strongholds in both northern and northeastern Aleppo.