Aleppo, Syria (5:00 A.M.) – Just a few days following its massive retreat from the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, ISIS launched a large counteroffensive aimed at capturing the border town of Al-Rai and its surrounding towns.

The Islamic State’s tactical withdrawal from the Jarablus region of Aleppo allowed for the terror group to alocate many fighters for the capture of Al-Rai and its surrounding region as Kurds and Turkish-backed jihadists fight viciously against each other along the Turkish-Syrian border.

The astute IS retreat forced a direct confrontation between the YPG and the Turkish-backed FSA enabling the terror group the sufficient time and manpower to fortify its defense lines around Al-Bab, its administrative capital of Aleppo and one of its last remaining strongholds in the aforementioned province.

As of now, ISIS has succeeded in capturing the border stronghold with the group’s strategy seemingly more focused on expanding the border region around Al-Rai, an area much more easily defendable than Jarablus.

Should the fanatical group build an expansive buffer zone around Al-Rai, it would ensure itself prolonged presence on the border and prove to be a considerable hurdle in the way of the Turkish-led invasion aimed at securing a corridor between Azaz and Jarablus.

 

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Rafael Lleães

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