Syrian opposition factions including the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front have been aided by US air strikes in their fight against ISIS, in northern Aleppo, Syria.
At least four air strikes targeted the town of Suran. ISIS captured Suran in Aleppo a week ago and opposition activists have accused the Assad regime of carrying out air strikes targeting Syrian rebel positions aiding the ISIS offense.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights described the overnight raids as an intervention on the side of the Syrian rebels.
“It’s the first time that the international coalition has supported non-Kurdish opposition forces fighting ISIS,” Observatory director Rami Abdel-Rahman told AFP.
According to sources, at least eight ISIS fighters were killed in the raids, and over 20 were injured. The strikes came as the US-led coalition increases its efforts to prevent ISIS expansion in northern Aleppo.
“Washington seems really determined to stop ISIS advancing against the rebels in Aleppo,” said Thomas Pierret, a professor at the University of Edinburgh and a Syria expert.
Nusra Front was previously targeted by the US coalition, and so the “pragmatism” of the US in fighting ISIS is clear, Pierret added. Nusra Front is blacklisted by the US, along with its Al Qaeda-trained fighting faction “Khorasan.”
At least 119 people have been killed since the assault by ISIS began in the area on May 30. Among the dead were 71 regime soldiers and 48 ISIS fighters, 11 of them suicide bombers.