US-led air strikes targeted ISIS on Sunday as they fought with rival Syrian opposition factions including the al Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front in the northern city of Aleppo the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported.
The overnight raids attacked ISIS’ fighters in Soran and Izaz for the first time since last week when ISIS captured the two towns. The raids was described by SOHR as the intervention on the side of the Syrian opposition even though the rebels in the area included the Nusra Front, which was targeted earlier by the the coalition warplanes.
On May 20 about 15 Nusra fighters were killed by US-led air strikes targeting one of the Nusra Front’s bastions in Aleppo. The Nusra Front like ISIS is on Washington’s blacklist of terrorist organizations.
SOHR said that "The coalition carried out at least four strikes overnight” targeting ISIS positions. "It's the first time that the international coalition has supported non-Kurdish opposition forces fighting the Islamic State [ISIS]," Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
At least 8 ISIS fighters were killed and more than 20 were injured Abdel Rahman said.
Starting last week, fierce confrontations between the Syrian opposition including the Nusra Front and Ahrar ash Sham was continuously reported in the areas of Soran, Izaz and Marea lying on the supply route used by the opposition between the Aleppo province and its north outskirts.
US-led coalition started its air strikes in Syria and Iraq last September targeting ISIS positions in both countries.
The war in Syria started at 2011 as anti-government demonstration, but descended into a civil war that has left over 220,000 Syrians dead according to UN estimates.
More than 6.7 million are displaced internally while at least 5 million fled the country to the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan.