The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has surprised many in the countries of Syria and Iraq with large-scale offensives, where they have displayed their fighting prowess and the flexibility to be on multiple fronts in the provinces of Aleppo (Kuweires and Mar’e), Homs (Palmyra), Al-Hasakah (provincial capital), Hama (Al-Salamiyah), Deir Ezzor (provincial capital), and Al-Sweida (northern countryside).
While not all of these offensives have been successful, ISIS did seize the ancient city of Palmyra in the eastern countryside of the Homs Governorate; this is the first city that ISIS has captured from the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) after almost two years of combatting the latter in the eastern provinces of Syria.
ISIS’ offensives typically target the Syrian Armed Forces or the predominately Kurdish “People’s Protection Unit’s” (YPG); however, the terrorist organization has shifted their focus to the northern Aleppo cities of Mar’e and ‘Azaz, where they launched a powerful assault at the nearby town of Sawran on Friday morning.
Following their limited success on Saturday, ISIS overwhelmed the militants from the Syrian Al-Qaeda group “Jabhat Al-Nusra” and their allies from Liwaa Al-Tawheed and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) at the town of Sawran, resulting in the latter militias withdrawing from this area to nearby villages to the west.
The militants from ISIS did not stop there, they captured the towns of Umm Hawash and Al-Hasiyah after intense clashes on Sunday morning; this paved the way for ISIS to storm the cities of Mar’e and ‘Azaz with hundreds of their militants, as the Opposition forces attempt to repel the swarming enemy combatants.