Over the past week, Kurdish militants of the YPG and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have captured several previously rebel-held villages in northern Aleppo, including the strategic Menagh Airbase. Meanwhile, ten days ago, government forces broke the 3-year old siege on Nubl and al-Zahraa and subsequently captured a handful of villages, including Kafr Naya, from Islamist insurgents.
Nevertheless, although rebel forces in northern Syria combat both Kurds, the Syrian Army and ISIS at three different flanks, they still hold the three major cities of Mare, Tall Rifaat and Azaz. However the latter city has been encircled by Kurdish fighters over the past 48 hours as preliminary reports indicate clashes at the western entrance and national hospital in Azaz.
If the YPG and SDF was to capture the strategic city of Azaz, this would enable a major offensive eastwards towards their Kurdish comrades in Kobane and Hasakah. However, both the nation of Turkey, various Islamist rebel factions and ISIS commanders have other intentions for the region as they intend to keep the Turkish-Syrian border open for supplies, oil and ammunition. Also, the Syrian Arab Army is gradually closing in on al-Bab and Azaz from the south as government forces have greatly expanded their territory in Aleppo province since October of 2015.