Rebels seek to reverse Islamic State Aleppo gains

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A coalition of rebel brigades sent a large column of reinforcements, including approximately 2,000 fighters, as well as tanks and heavy artillery to the northern Aleppo countryside on Monday to reverse gains the Islamic State made over the weekend, reported the opposition al-Etihad Press. The reinforcements come after IS captured several villages in the rebel-controlled corridor that connects their positions in Aleppo city to the Turkish border. Sunday’s capture of one village, Sarwan, puts IS within 15 kilometers of the city of Azaz and the adjacent rebel-controlled Bab al-Salama border crossing. In a related context, accusations that IS forces were taking female relatives of rebel fighters in Sarwan as slaves circulated on Sunday in opposition news outlets and on social media, although a spokesperson from a local rebel brigade told Syria Direct on Monday that those reports were until now “unconfirmed.”