The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been expanding in Iraq recently, and is now looking back and its northwestern front, the Aleppo Province of Syria, where they are seeking more gains along the Turkish border.
They have some help too. ISIS fighters seized a number of US-made armored Humvees in and around Mosul, and have ferried them all the way to their Syrian frontier, where they are involved in battles with rival rebels in Azaz.
Azaz is one of several key border crossings into Turkey that have been contested by many rebel factions, and while it has recently been dominated by the Islamic Front, it seems that the armored vehicles and other high-end equipment looted from Iraq could make the difference for ISIS.
Syrian rebel factions have been keen on border crossings as valuable targets allowing them to smuggle weapons in, and command cuts of other factions’ smuggling there.
ISIS now has control of all but one Syria-Iraq crossing, as well as control of the only Iraq-Jordan crossing. If they secure more Syria-Turkey crossings it will give them even more influence across the region.