Over the past 72 hours, fighters loyal to the Islamic State have recaptured the villages of Jariz, Yahmoul, Al-Faydiyah, Shaikh Rih and Tall al-Hisn from rebels in northern Aleppo.
Meanwhile, several Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups in the region have pledged their allegiance to Jaish al-Mujahedeen in attempt to unify rebel groups against ISIS.
For the past two months, northern Aleppo has seen remarkably many offensives and retreats on both sides with the frontline waving back in forth.
Nevertheless, just one village now splits ISIS forces from reaching the Azaz border city – arguably the most important stronghold for Islamist rebels along the Turkish border.
Although Syrian rebels are supported by coalition airstrikes and Turkish artillery units, their forces seem unable to gain the upper hand on the Islamic State.