After the Syrian military pushed into ISIS territory in the Hama Province, it looked like they were going to be expelled outright in very short order. ISIS lost most of that territory, however, but has gained different territory elsewhere in the province.
ISIS forces pushed into al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front’s territory in Idlib, seizing at least 12 villages, according to their own statement. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says ISIS took 15 villages but lost several back.
The Observatory suggested that many of the ISIS fighters involved in the new push were the same ones who’d been expelled from Syria’s military advancing into their territory, meaning ISIS just traded one front for another.
This has been a common tactic for ISIS throughout the wars in Iraq and Syria, as their flexibility allows them to transition between defense and offense quickly. At the same time, it appears to confirm recent reports of Nusra having lost substantial fighting capabilities if they lost so many villages so quickly.