World

Rebels Break ISIS Siege in Northwest Syria, Says Monitoring Group

Rebel fighters take positions at the frontline during what they said were clashes with Islamic State militants in the town of Marea in Aleppo's countryside October 3, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Rami Zayat

Rebel fighters take positions at the frontline during what they said were clashes with ISIS militants in the town of Marea in Aleppo’s countryside October 3, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Rami Zayat

Beirut: Rebel groups broke through an ISIS siege around an opposition-held town in northwestern Syria on Wednesday, reopening their main road to the Turkish border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The rebel groups besieged in the town of Marea had launched a counter attack against ISIS after issuing a statement saying they had united ranks. The stranded rebels were air dropped weapons last week by the US-led coalition against ISIS, rebel sources said at the time.

The fighting had trapped thousands of civilians in Marea.

The rebels had broken the siege by capturing the village of Kafr Kalbin on the road linking Marea with Azaz, 20 km (12 miles) to the northwest, said the Observatory which monitors the conflict.

Rebels fighting ISIS north of Aleppo have received military assistance from states opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.

Their battle with ISIS is separate to one being waged further east by the US-backed Syria Democratic Forces, which includes the Kurdish YPG militia.