MESOP WEST KURDISTAN TODAY: IS finds next target after Kobani

27 Jan 2015 – MESOP – IS fighters retreating from their loss of the Kurdish city of Kobani reportedly launched an attack against rebel positions south of the opposition-controlled city of Marea in northern Aleppo province on Monday, reported pro-opposition news agency Halab News.

Marea is a rebel stronghold north of Aleppo city controlled by a collection of Islamic battalions. By taking Marea, IS would open up the possibility of moving north to capture the nearby Bab a-Salama border crossing with Turkey. The attack comes in the wake of YPG’s announcement that it had completely freed the city of Kobani from IS control on Monday, where Kurdish and IS forces had been battling for over four months.

Bab al-Hawa closed following Turkish-rebel row

The Bab al-Hawa border crossing in Idlib province remained closed on Tuesday following an armed confrontation Monday between the Turkish Gendarmes and rebel Jaish al-Mujahidin. The border post will remain closed for two more days, Ahmed Bakur, a civilian waiting there to enter Turkey, told Syria Direct Tuesday, relaying information that Turkish officials told travelers.A member of Jaish al-Mujahideen saw a Turkish soldier harassing his sister Monday, at which point he took a gun from one of his companions and opened fire on the Turkish soldier, reported Emirates-based Eremnews. Turkish forces responded with gunfire; a Turkish soldier was wounded, and the Syrian rebel and his sister returned to Syria unhurt.