The Free Syrian Army groups announced they have captured several new villages from the ISIS extremist group near the town of Albab northeast of Aleppo.
The latest FSA advance on Albab came after a violent attack on ISIS positions as part of the Turkish-backed Shield of the Euphrates offensive which aims to cleanse northern Syria from extremist groups.
Activists in northern rural Aleppo said that the FSA fighters on Thursday captured the villages of Alamiya, Ghajran, Awasi, Lawahji, and Alhassani to the east of Albab. Dozens of ISIS militants, including some commanders, have been killed and injured in the FSA attack.
The FSA fighters on Wednesday drove ISIS militants out of the villages of Alghouz and Abu Alzindin to the west of Albab. The village of Muqri and a nearby hill fell to the FSA fighters on January 26, bringing the number of villages freed from ISIS in the last week to eight.
The FSA groups are now besieging Albab from all sides and targeting ISIS positions inside the town and on its outskirts in preparation for a final attack to capture the strategic town.
In addition to ousting ISIS, the takeover of Albab frustrates PYD plans to expand over more areas in northern Syria.
Albab, which lies 30 kilometers to the south of the Turkish border, has a population of about 200,000 people. It fell to the ISIS extremist group in January 2014. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office)