All hell is loose in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo as ISIS, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Free Syrian Army (FSA) all battled one another on Wednesday.
While ISIS mounted a counter-offensive on Qabasin, their forces completely withdrew from several nearby villages, leaving them easy prey for the US-backed SDF.
Thus, the SDF was able to pinch out a largely abandoned ISIS bulge and took control over the villages of Al-Bughaz, Abu Hayj, Hutah, Jubb ad Dam (Qanlê Qoyê), Kur Huyuk, Ulashi, Kandarliyah, al-Qarah and Tall Bersaya – these villages are located northeast of al-Bab.
Meanwhile, Turkish-backed rebels fighting under the FSA banner seized the adjacent villages of Arab Wiran and Shuweiha.
Additionally, FSA fighters have once again captured Qabasin; ISIS was only able to maintain control of the town for three hours earlier today. Moments ago, rebel forces also captured the village of Agil (Aji), southeast of Qabasin.
While the FSA and SDF leadership are still firmly at odds with each other, both parties hope to liberate the Islamic State stronghold of al-Bab.
Since September 11, the Turkish Air Force has conducted 211 airstrikes on ISIS and SDF targets in support of the FSA’s operation ‘Euphrates Shield’. Turkish tanks are also present on the ground inside Syria alongside the FSA factions; around a dozen have been destroyed by ISIS anti-tank missiles in the past two months.