A rare claimed victory for a Free Syrian Army (FSA) affiliate, the Thursday capture of the town of al-Rai in Aleppo Province, didn’t last very long, and reports are coming out today that ISIS has already recovered the town.
Al-Rai is close to the Turkish border, and was seen as a strategically value part of one of the many, many supply routes used by rebels to smuggle weapons into Syria from Turkey, which is believed to have factored into ISIS’ decision to launch a quick counterattack.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights insisted the loss of al-Rai proved that the rebels can’t hold any gains they make against ISIS “without adequate air cover.” Gains by other factions, like the Kurdish YPG, depend heavily on US and Russian backing.
ISIS has been facing offensives on several fronts throughout the Syrian ceasefire, of which they are not a party, as the truces are allowing a number of factions to shift focus to attacking them. Today’s recovery, however, suggests ISIS isn’t in nearly so desperate a situation as some would claim.