The Islamic State (IS) has returned to the northern countryside of Aleppo, where other Islamic factions started a war against IS about eight months ago.

In a move that recalled the beginning of these events, IS dubbed its battle the “Invasion of the Revenge for the Chaste,” in reference to the accusations made by IS in the past toward other factions of abducting and raping female “muhajirat” [immigrants] and mujahedeen’s wives. The most prominent of those abducted is the wife of Haji Bakr (who was killed in Tal Rifaat) along with two of his sons.


Yesterday morning [Aug. 13], IS took control of Akhtarin, which is considered the gateway to the northern Aleppo countryside. This move has opened the Islamic State’s way to the border towns of Marea, al-Rahi, Dodian and Azaz, where there’s a border crossing with Turkey. Azaz was the last area from where IS withdrew when the jihadist “war of elimination” started. The organization withdrew from there to absorb the attack by the other factions. But later, it caught its breath and retook control of most of the areas, especially in the eastern region.[…]