Battles between ISIS militants and Syrian opposition factions in northern Syria killed at least 47, a monitor said on Saturday.
Twenty opposition fighters were killed in the town of Marea in Aleppo province, along with 27 ISIS militants, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said. Marea is a key rebel bastion that ISIS has been trying to capture for months.
The Observatory says that the ongoing fighting is around Marea and the surrounding villages, which opposition forces still control. Marea has a key supply route running to the Turkish border.
ISIS advanced significantly in the area last week, seizing five villages from the opposition forces following its allegations that it had used a chemical agent, possibly mustard gas, in its attacks.
ISIS has taken over several villages in the area between Marea and Azaz and “encircled” the opposition-held district of Marea, citing a recent ISIS announcement.
Marea is just 20 kilometres away from Turkey’s southern border. The villages that were captured last week are Dalhah, Harjalah, Sandef and Harbul according to the UK-based SOHR.
The US-led campaign fighting ISIS in recent days carried out strikes against the group near Marea, according to the Pentagon.
More than 240,000 people died in Syria’s four year long civil war that began in March 2011.
ISIS holds large swathes of Iraq and about 50 percent of Syria, taking advantage of the civil war and the security.