The Syrian army and ISIS waged fierce battles on Wednesday around Khanaser, a strategic town southeast of Aleppo, where an attack by the jihadi group has cut the main land route to the city during three days of fighting.
A government military source denied reports Khanaser had fallen to ISIS. But he said its fighters were firing on it from nearby positions.
“They are around Khanaser – it is under their sniper fire,” the source told Reuters.
ISIS is escalating its assaults on government-held areas. Its suicide bombers launched some of their deadliest attacks of the war on Sunday in Damascus and Homs, killing about 200 people. It also attacked government forces near Palmyra on Wednesday.