Al-Qaeda Captures 20 Towns and Villages in Northern Syria

Offensive gains territory along Aleppo-Idlib border

About a week of heavy rebel infighting in northern Syria’s Aleppo Province continues to rage, with the Turkish-backed rebel factions deploying growing numbers of reinforcements in the area to try to stave off gains by al-Qaeda’s Tahrir al-Sham faction.

Al-Qaeda reported last week that the Turkish rebels attacked them first. After that, al-Qaeda launched a major, growing counteroffensive, and has seized at least 20 towns and villages of the immediate area along the Aleppo-Idlib border.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights is also reporting some major losses being sustained in this fighting, saying the Noureddin al-Zinki having lost more than 100 fighters in fighting against al-Qaeda.

Russia reportedly carried out an airstrike against one of the seized towns, killing two civilians. While Turkey seems to be trying to get a handle on this situation, mounting al-Qaeda gains could force Syria and Russia to get more involved in rebel territory just to keep it from being unified under al-Qaeda forces.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.