Islamic State stymied in attack on north Aleppo gateway

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Islamic State forces mounted an attack on “an entry point to the northern Aleppo countryside” that ended in the early hours of Tuesday morning when two of the IS militants detonated explosive belts after being surrounded in the town’s mosque by FSA fighters, reported pro-opposition Zamn al-Wasl. “Maara is an entryway to the northern Aleppo countryside from the eastern front,” Abu Teem al-Halabi, the alias of an opposition activist in the Aleppo countryside, told Syria Direct Tuesday. The move on Maara, the eastern gateway into north Aleppo, is not the Islamic State’s first, with the most recent attackoccurring in late July. The town, with many FSA rebel factions stationed in and around it, sits a few kilometers away from the Bab a-Salaama border crossing with Turkey. As in those attacks, members of an IS sleeper cell, claiming to be members of the FSA, infiltrated the town from the south and commenced their attack.