Militants of the Islamic State and local supports gather in Raqqa suburb. File photo
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ALEPPO ــ Subsequent to clashes with Syrian rebel groups, militant fighters of the Islamic State (ISIS) on Monday captured several towns and villages in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo, local and military sources reported.
The battles led to the death of several rebels and the injury of others before they withdrew from the key town of al-Raee and a number of nearby villages.
Speaking to ARA News in Aleppo, rebel spokesman Saleh al-Zain said that ISIS launched a major attack on the northern suburbs of Aleppo and was able to take control of the villages Tel Ahmar, ar-Raghibiya, ash-Shabaniya, Shaheen farms and Tel Shaeer west of the al-Raee town subsequent to fierce battles with Syrian rebel fighters from the al-Sham Corps, the First Regiment and the Sultan Murad Brigade.
Last Thursday, Syrian rebel groups, including Islamist factions, announced the expulsion of ISIS extremists from the town of al-Raee [35 km to the west of Jarablus] in northern Aleppo. However, sporadic clashes continue between the two sides along the borderline with Turkey, according to locals.
“The rebels were forced to retreat due to artillery and rocket fire launched by ISIS militants on their positions near the Syrian-Turkish border,” al-Zain reported.
ISIS was able to take over the key town of al-Raee in the northern suburbs of Aleppo on Monday. The radical group seeks to preserve areas under its control extending from al-Bab city to the bordering city of Jarablus–major pocket for the group in northern Syria.
Also, Jarablus is a strategic target at the moment for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG); if they were able to retake it from ISIS, they would be blocking one of the main routes in the face of foreign militants who continue to cross from Turkey into Syria in order to join their alleged Caliphate, according to military sources.
Reporting by: Taim Khalil
Source: ARA News