Regime forces repel Islamic State attack in North Aleppo

On 20 March, the Islamic State launched an assault aimed at the Regime-held Sheikh Najjar Industrial Zone, 10 km northeast of Aleppo. IS fighters were initially successful at taking the town of Kafr Saghir, just north of the industrial city, but were prevented from further advance by the SAA. By the middle of the day 21 March, it was reported that Kafr Saghir had been retaken by regime forces. This attack threatens the territory pro-Regime forces took earlier in 2016, breaking the three and a half year rebel siege of the Shi'a towns of Nubl and al-Zahraa. However, it is doubtful that the Islamic State will be able to dedicate enough manpower to conquer Sheik Najjar Industrial City, as it currently faces rebel incursions to the north, and a likely Kurdish campaign targeting Manbij, to the east.