The Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) has recently shifted its attention to the rebel stronghold of Mar’e in the Aleppo Governorate’s northern countryside after spending the last two months attempting to repel the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) assault in the eastern part of the province and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) offensive in western Al-Raqqa.
On Thursday morning, the ISIS terrorists stormed the eastern gates of Mar’e, where they were confronted by a large group of militants from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham (largest Islamist/rebel group), the Free Syrian Army (FSA), and Jabhat Al-Shamiyah (Levantine Front).
Much to ISIS’ surprise, the Syrian Democratic Forces and their Kurdish allies from the “People’s Protection Units” (YPG) were not in control of Mar’e; this was because the extremist rebels reneged on the deal to turn over the city to the more moderate rebels.
Not that it mattered much in the end, as ISIS was ultimately repelled by the militants from Harakat Ahrar Al-Sham, Jabhat Al-Shamiyah, and the Free Syrian Army, who were tasked with protecting Mar’e.
However, the surprise assault by the ISIS combatants revealed the terrorist group’s intentions to capitalize on the wounded rebel defenses by attacking their vulnerable sites in northern Aleppo.