Islamic State fighters have made considerable progress near the contested northern Syrian city of Aleppo and are threatening to rout core elements of Western-backed Syrian rebel forces there, France’s defense minister said on Wednesday.
“The Islamist militant group launched an offensive in northern Aleppo province last month, in a blow to the rebels in an area where the United States and Turkey are planning to open a new front against the movement.”
“Jean-Yves Le Drian told France Inter radio that one of the reasons why Paris had decided to join air strikes in Syria over the coming weeks was because Islamic State was expanding rapidly.”
“What is certain is that things have changed drastically. For several months Daesh (Islamic State) has considerably extended its presence on Syrian territory,” he said. “It’s true in Aleppo, but also on the Homs-Damascus line. Today Daesh has progressed in a way that it is threatening the Syrian resistance in Aleppo region, but also Lebanon if it manages to break through the Damascus-Homs axis.” (Coordination Center)