BEIRUT - Islamic State insurgents have seized several towns and villages from rival Islamist groups in the Syrian province of Aleppo, opening the way for further westward advances, an organization monitoring the war in Syria said on Wednesday.
Already in control of large areas of northern and eastern Syria, Islamic State's latest gains include the towns of Turkmen Bareh and Akhtarin, 50 km (30 miles) northeast of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in Britain, reported.
Islamic State's advance in Syria has accelerated since the group seized control of the Iraqi city of Mosul in June, declaring a caliphate in areas under its control in a bid to redraw the borders of the Middle East.
Diplomats and rebels said the Syrian government, which is fighting rebels across the country, launched attacks on towns run by the group only after its militants advanced into neighboring Iraq and seized a third of its territories.
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