Turkey-Backed Rebels Seize ISIS Villages in North Syria

Rebels Also Open Fire on Kurdish YPG Forces in the Area

Syrian rebel factions backed by the Turkish government, including Fallaq al-Sham,, have launched an offensive against ISIS territory in northern Aleppo Province, with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights saying they took at least 16 villages.

Fallaq al-Sham commander Abu Yasser bragged about the “liberation” of a number of villages in the offensive, and said they are hoping to “cleansing northern Aleppo” entirely. The fighting wasn’t just against ISIS, as the group also opened fire on Kurdish YPG forces in the area.

The YPG has been fighting various factions in the area, but primarily ISIS, in an attempt to gain territory. According to the Observatory, the rebels opened fire on YPG forces in northern Aleppo city, killing at least 10 people, including four YPG fighters.

Fallaq al-Sham was a long-time ally of al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front, but split with them, and later formed a coalition called the “northern brigade” aimed at gaining territory in Aleppo Province. This is their first major push since that announcement.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.