On Saturday evening, ISIS recaptured the predominately Kurdish town of Qabasin after an ambush prompted Turkish-backed Syrian rebels to withdraw from the town and also abandon their positions in the recently captured village of Agil (Aji).
22 Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants were killed during the surprise ISIS attack, adding insult to injury after ISIS forces destroyed two Turkish tanks yesterday.
Qabasin has changed hands between the warring parties four times in the past four days, devastating much of the town and leaving many civilians caught in permanent crossfire.
Although falling back on the eastern axis of al-Bab city, the FSA did gain ground on the western flank of the city, advancing through sparsely populated countryside and putting their forward units just 700 meters from the Islamic State stronghold’s western entrance.
Meanwhile, Turkish tanks continue to shell al-Bab from afar while a direct rebel attack on the city has been temporarily offset by the loss of Qabasin.
Nevertheless, since launching operation ‘Euphrates Shield’ in August, the Turkish Armed Forces and FSA have captured a total of 217 villages and towns.