BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:24 A.M.) – Forces of the Islamic State terrorist group are swallowing up vast areas of land throughout the provinces of Hama, Aleppo and Idlib in the wake of a mass withdrawal by rival jihadist militias.
According to opposition sources, ISIS militants have scooped up more territory across northwest Syria within the provinces of Hama, Aleppo and Idlib. The latest push by the terrorist group’s forces has seen them take control of ten towns and villages.
The new settlements to be captured by ISIS have been identified (again, by opposition sources) as Al-Musayyatibah, Rasm Madahy, Al-Dahiriyah, Al-Harsh, Tal ash-Shur, Maliha Kabirah, Khayriyah, Khayriyah Kabirah, Rasm Al-Barjis and Ghazilah.
Under the very real threat of encirclement by Syrian army-led forces, non-ISIS jihadist groups such as Ha’yat Tahrir al-Sham (Syrian Al-Qaeda-affiliate), the Turkistan Islamic Party (Al-Qaeda-linked) and Ahrar al-Sham (Syrian Muslim Brotherhood-affiliate) have been withdrawing from northeast Hama and south Aleppo.
The retreat by armed rebel groups has left a territorial vacuum open in northeast Hama and southern Aleppo which ISIS is now exploiting to gain control over as much land as possible before it is completely encircled by pro-government forces.