Turkish-backed rebels in Syria make major gains against ISIS

The Washington Post reports: Turkish-backed rebels in northern Syria have been driving Islamic State militants out of vast areas along the frontier with neighboring Turkey, seizing a key border town from the extremist group in their latest gains.

The capture overnight Thursday of Rai, about 40 miles northeast of Aleppo, by groups affiliated with the umbrella Free Syrian Army deprives the Islamic State of one of its last border crossings from Turkey into Syria. Rai had been a key conduit for the group to funnel fighters and weapons.

The takeover — confirmed by the rebel groups and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring organization — represents a major setback for the Islamic State, which depends heavily on smuggling pathways through Turkey. [Continue reading…]

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