The recent war between the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) and the Syrian Al-Qaeda organization “Jabhat Al-Nusra” is beginning to intensify inside Syria, as both terrorist groups attempt to gain the upper-hand in this long-awaited battle that sprung in late 2013 from their internal rivalries and disintegrating relations.
To much of the Syrian Opposition’s surprise, the militants from ISIS launched a surprise assault on the city of Sawran located in the northern countryside of Aleppo, resulting in their subsequent control over the area after a series of fierce clashes with the Jabhat Al-Nusra and their allies from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Jabhat Al-Shamiyah (Levantine Front) last week.
Following their control of Sawran, ISIS was able to take control of a half dozen villages on the road to the Aleppo Infantry School, where the latter terrorist organization cutoff the main supply route to the militants from Liwaa Al-Tawheed and Jabhat Al-Nusra that are entrenched in the vicinity of this fortress that’s currently under attack by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the National Defense Forces (NDF).
In addition to their advance towards the Aleppo Infantry School, ISIS pushed their frontlines to the strategic city of Mar’e, where they were met with fierce resistance from the militants of Jabhat Al-Nusra and Jabhat Al-Shamiyah; this city is considered a Syrian Opposition stronghold – if lost – this will have major implications for the rebel forces in northern Aleppo.
Over the weekend, Jabhat Al-Nusra and their allies launched a counter-offensive to retake the city of Sawran from the armed combatants of ISIS; however, it has been unsuccessful thus far, as ISIS remains in full-control of all points around the city.
ISIS was surprised on Sunday and Monday with an aerial attack from a number of member-states from the Anti-ISIS Coalition at the city of Sawran; these airstrikes were coordinated by the predominately Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG) in the northern Aleppo district of Afrin.