BEIRUT - The jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has lost control over opposition-held areas of Aleppo amid the fierce battles raging in northern Syria between rebels and fighters from the Al-Qaeda-linked group.
“Free Aleppo is now under the complete control of the Free Syrian Army,” a commander in the Syria Revolutionaries Front told NOW on Wednesday.
“One can now roam freely in the free part of Aleppo without coming across any fighter or headquarter belonging to ISIS.”
He also said that ISIS members retreated to Al-Inzarat on the northeastern outskirts of the city, adding that “around 300 people detained by ISIS” had been freed.
“ISIS fighters took away with them a number of hostages from the Children's Hospital while retreating,” he however added.
“We still don’t know if that happened because of the presence of foreigners among [the hostages].”
The Syrian Revolutionaries Front, Army of the Mujahideen and other rebels have been battling ISIS since Friday in Aleppo and Idlib.
The fighting has since spread to Raqqa, where ISIS fighters have been besieged by rebels.
The campaign began as civilian protesters took to the streets on Friday to condemn ISIS' torturing and killing of Hussein al-Sleiman, an Aleppo-area doctor also known as Abu Rayan.
On Tuesday night, an ISIS spokesperson warned in an audio message that his Al-Qaeda-linked group considers the Free Syrian Army to be “legitimate targets” and vowed to crush rebels battling ISIS.