Fierce battles are still raging in the Northern outskirts of Aleppo as Al-Qaeda Syrian branch, Jabhet Al-Nusra, and allied Islamic factions desperately try to push ISIS back and recapture Soran town.
For the first time, the US-Led Coalition conducted 4 airstrikes to help Al-Nusra hold tough against ISIS, killing scores including military commander Abu Thaer Al-Ansari. The airstrikes targeted ISIS HQ in Soran (formerly the town Hall), Al-Bel and Umm Hosh villages.
Soran is nearly 10 km from Azaz and the strategic Bab Al-Salamah border crossing, what might explain the US’ determination to prevent ISIS from getting closer to the Turkish borders.
The anti-ISIS coalition airstrikes was so far limited to provide aerial assistance to Kurdish militia (YPG) and allied forces in Kobani, Al-Hasakah and Al-Raqqa outskirts.
Opposition sources said the airstrikes came after three-day long negotiations with Kurdish YPG in nearby Afrin (only 35 km from ISIS stronghold in Soran), where the two side discussed YPG’s potential involvement in the battles.
Such involvement has so far been suspended as opposition denied the Kurdish militia a permanent foothold in opposition-held areas in the northern outskirts of Aleppo, a source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, revealed.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights cited local activists confirming the airstrikes have killed seven family members in the village of Dali Hassan on Sunday.
Earlier, local sources said more than 200 Al-Nusra fighters have defected to ISIS as the opposition fears further advance by ISIS might very well cut off their supply route to its militants, namely the newly-found “Fateh Halab” operation room.