A Syrian rebel fighter. file photo
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ALEPPO – Syrian rebel groups on Tuesday launched a major offensive on positions for the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) and were able to recapture key areas in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo, local and military sources reported.
Subsequent to the rebel-led attack, fierce fighting broke out between the two sides accompanied by artillery shelling by the Turkish army on ISIS positions in Aleppo’s northern suburbs.
Speaking to ARA News in Aleppo, rebel spokesman Saleh Zain confirmed that the rebel groups, including the Sham Corps fighters, the Sultan Murad Brigade and Ahrar al-Sharqiya group were able to carry out a surprise attack against ISIS in the northern suburbs of Aleppo and were able to control the key town of ash-Shabaniya and the surrounding farms after heavy fighting, during which a number of jihadis were killed and some others injured.
“Supported by Turkish fierce shelling on ISIS’s locations in al-Raee and Qara Kopri villages, our fighters [rebels] regained key areas from the terror group,” Zain said. “We aim at taking over the ISIS-held strategic town of al-Raee [35 km to the west of Jarablus].
The Turkish shelling caused ISIS losses in manpower and equipment, according to the spokesman.
“Meanwhile, the US-led coalition forces conducted two air raids on locations for Daesh in the towns of Kadrish and az-Ziyadiya,” a local source told ARA News, using an acronym for ISIS.
ARA News has no precise information about the death toll in ISIS ranks.
Syrian rebel groups have been now on the outskirts of the town of al-Raee, which fell to ISIS two days ago, locals reported.
On Monday, ISIS captured several towns and villages in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo, including 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, according to military sources.
Last Thursday, Syrian rebel groups, including Islamist factions, announced the expulsion of ISIS extremists from the town of al-Raee in northern Aleppo. However, sporadic clashes continue between the two sides along the borderline with Turkey, according to locals.
The radical group tries to maintain control over some key areas extending from al-Bab city to the bordering city of Jarablus–major pocket for the group in northern Syria.
Reporting by: Taim Khalil
Source: ARA News