BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State fighters captured territory from Syrian rebels in an area near the Turkish border on Friday and were close to cutting off an insurgent-held town, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.
The jihadists seized a number of villages around the town of Marea, north of Aleppo, and had almost fully encircled it, the British-based monitoring group said.
The advance also brought them closer to Azaz, a town 6 km (4 miles) from Turkey. Rebel groups battling Islamic State in the area, which Washington sees as strategically vital, have been supplied with weapons via Turkey.
(Reporting by John Davison; Editing by Louise Ireland)