A few hours ago, combined rebel forces of the Free Syrian Army, Fatah coalition (Islamist rebel groups) and Jabhat al-Nusra (Syrian al-Qaeda group) captured al-Rai town in northern Aleppo from ISIS troops. Thus, Islamist rebels have now captured more than a dozen villages in less than a week along the Turkish border.

Today’s battle was reportedly heavily reinforced and aided by Turkish artillery pieces that pounded ISIS positions in and around al-Rai throughout the day. Meanwhile, other reports indicate that ISIS fighters have been gradually withdrawing their forces from the region, as to reinforce other vulnerable frontlines.

In fact, these advances come despite rebels in northern Aleppo being entirely cut off from the rest of rebel-held Syria, thus creating problems in terms of new recruits, logistics and redeployments. However, the rebel offensive has come into effect through Turkish support and ISIS commanders down-prioritizing the area.

Now, rebels will either try to strike further east along the border or strike southwest and carry out a pincer manuever towards the rebel stronghold of Mare’, thereby cutting off many ISIS fighters and expanding the rebel enclave in northern Aleppo.

Map credit to BosnjoBoy.

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Student currently living in Denmark. Special focus on news from Syria, MENA map-making and strategical military analysis.

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J. Rehmani
Guest
J. Rehmani

Indeed, the Turkish-Al Nusra-CIA/FSA program is finally being implemented with full force. Ensures that insurrectionist bloodshed in Syria will continue way into the future.

Elider Barrientos
Guest
Elider Barrientos

Claro eso se sabia si los malditos kurdos le cortaron el paso al ejercito sirio

Kopfz
Guest
Kopfz

Rubbish. This is Turkey creating their buffer zone.

Eastsider
Guest
Eastsider

Correct. They had their asses kicked by DAESH last week, nothing can be changed in a battle that fast. Actually is more like that they are vacating the area and the rebels are filling the void. Turks are not that good fighters, anyway. They are only as good to attack places with artillery from afar.

daeshit sucks
Guest
daeshit sucks

Daesh or Al-Qaeda… Just choose between the plague and the cholera…

Pope
Guest
Pope

Isis to be replaced with Isis