Daesh retakes Al Rai from the rebels – 11 April 2016

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Syrian rebels take most of Al Rai

On 7 April 2016 Syrian rebels, supported by Turkey, took from Daesh most of the town of Al Rai, near the Turkish border. The Turkish-backed rebels now control the stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border from their Azaz enclave to Al Rai.

The rebels’ advance will hinder the Kurds’ plans to take over this Daesh-controlled area themselves in order to unite their own enclaves – a plan vehemently resisted by Turkey.

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Syrian Kurds take Marea

On 16 February 2016 Syrian Kurds took first the village of Shaykh Isa just west from the Marea town, and then Marea itself. Reportedly, the rebels negotiated bloodless surrender of Marea in exchange for safe passage to the remaining rebel-controlled areas to the north.

As a result of the Syrian regime forces’ and Kurdish advances, the northern enclave of the rebels has become practically limited to the town of Azaz. Turkey insists it will not let Azaz fall into the hands of the Kurds.

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Assad’s forces and Kurds take over rebels’ territories in northern Aleppo province

On 15 February 2016 the rebels suffered another series of territorial losses at the hands of government forces and Syrian Kurds.

The Kurds took Tall Rifat – one of the three towns that had been remaining in the rebels’ hands in their northern enclave. They also took the village of Ayn Deqna.

The Assad’s forces took villages of Kafr Naseh and Ahras.

The northern enclave of the rebels is cut from the rest of the rebels’ territory and faces destruction. Turkey, however, has stated it will not allow the fall of the enclave’s most significant town of Azaz into the Kurdish hands.

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Syrian rebels’ northern enclave faces possible destruction

After breaking the siege of Nubl and Zahraa, Syrian regime forces launched attack northward. By 8 February they were engaged in fighting for Kafr Naya, just 5 kilometers south of the rebel-held town of Tall Rifat.

Meanwhile, Syrian Kurds from the Afrin enclave use the situation to expand their territory by taking areas from the rebels before regime’s forces capture them. After taking a number of villages in recent days, on 8 February they took the town of Deir Jamal.

As a result of the regime and Kurdish advance, the northern enclave of the rebels near the Turkish border, with the towns of Azaz, Tall Rifat and Morea among others, has been cut from the rest of the rebel-held territory and faces serious threat of annihilation.

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