Over the past 72 hours, ISIS has been making steady gains in northern Aleppo, thus capturing the villages of Tahmoul, Jariz Kafrah, Fayruziyah, Tilal Al-Hussein, and Dudiyan.
Dudiyan represents the 3rd most important town to isolated rebel forces in northern Aleppo; the loss of this town has the armed Syrian Opposition reduced to a last ditch line of defence and foothold at the cities of Azaz and Mare’.
With the Islamic State on the advance, their fighters are now less than 6 kilometers from the eastern gates of Azaz. Meanwhile, Kurdish fighters are also keen to capture the rebel-held border city as their troops are less than 3 kilometers west of the site.
Despite the backing of Turkish artillery and warplanes of the US-led coalition, rebel fighters face a very real possibility of losing the entire enclave under their control in northern Aleppo.
Now, rebel commanders must either order their troops to fight to the last drop of blood or attempt to broker a regional peace deal with ISIS.
Otherwise, rebels could retreat across the Turkish border and possibly redeploy to Idlib which is largely controlled by Jaish al-Fateh, a coalition of Islamist rebel factions.