[Ed. – — Oh, forget it. What the hell do you say at this point? One note: ISIS has a reason to covet this particular territory. I wrote it up last year: Dabiq, where the Sunni vision of “Armageddon” is to play out, is within a few kilometers of Marea. The Sunni Armageddon battleground lies right inside the “zone” where Turkey and the U.S. propose to excluded ISIS. ISIS has named its online magazine ‘Dabiq,’ in honor of its apocalyptic vision. The ISIS loonies have no intention of letting the Dabiq window pass them by.]
Islamic State has seized new territory from Syrian rebels in northern Syria, advancing in an area where Turkey and the United States are planning to open a new front against the group.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group tracking the war, said it had seized five villages including two near the Turkish border from other Syrian insurgents.
Islamic State announced it had captured three villages in the area and said its fighters had nearly encircled the rebel-held town of Marea, some 20 km (12 miles), south of the Turkish border. …
The villages captured by Islamic State include two that the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front recently handed over to another Syrian rebel group.