Islamic State (IS) militants have now expanded their reach of influence as the terrorist group captured two major towns in Syria Wednesday (Aug. 12). The towns of Akhtarin and Turkmanbareh of the northern Aleppo province were captured by IS fighters, along with several smaller villages.
IS militants fought Syrian rebels to take over the land. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 31 Syrian rebels and eight IS militants were killed in the fighting.
One Syrian rebel commander who goes by Abu Thabet said, "They launched an all-out offensive for Akhtarin on Tuesday and the clashes lasted all night.”
According to Thabet, the seizure of Akhtarin is especially significant because it is “the gate to the northern countryside of Aleppo.”
Thabet said he believes that the next strategic move from IS militants would be to capture the towns of Marea and Azaz.
Publication date: August 13, 2014