TODAY’S MESOP News Roundup Syria : Rebels, IS battle over Turkish border area

11-9-2014 – Rebels reportedly attacked the IS-controlled town of Dabiq in northern Aleppo near the Turkish border Thursday, igniting fighting in a strategic area that could potentially cut rebel supplies from Turkey, the pro-opposition Aleppo Media Center reported.

The rebels began by shelling Dabiq with mortars Thursday morning, which then led to fighting outside the town, with residents fleeing the area, reported the Coordination of Youth for a Free Dabiq, a local pro-opposition news agency. It is unclear which opposition groups participated in the attack, although the Islamic Front, a coalition that includes Ahrar a-Sham, whose leadership was decimated in an attack Tuesday, is the strongest rebel presence in the area. Elsewhere in Aleppo province, the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that IS evacuated its bases in the city of al-Bab, the IS headquarters in Aleppo, on Thursday, apparently out of fear of potential US strikes against them in Syria. While the SOHR report on al-Bab could not be independently verified, other rumors circulated online saying that IS had also evacuated some of its bases in Deir e-Zor.