Heavy fighting broke out in Syria’s northern Aleppo Province today, when ISIS forces, who were also capturing villages in neighboring Hama, were attacked in Aleppo, with Syrian military forces coming after them in the area east of the provincial capital.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 49, with 17 Syrian soldiers and 32 ISIS fighters slain. This was distinct from the death toll in Hama, where at least 52 people were killed, many of them civilian bystanders, as ISIS seized the villages.
Indications are that the Syrian military is the one that gained territory in Aleppo, seizing 12 towns in the area around Maskanah’s al-Jarrah Airbase. Syria has been trying to gain territory around Aleppo Province for months, since recovering the city of Aleppo from al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.
It’s unclear what prompted Syria’s push today, however, though it may be that the ISIS attacks in Hama changed the balance of forces in the region, and allowed them to move into areas that ISIS had fewer troops defending.