Hundreds of Syrian rebels are preparing to launch an operation to capture a town held by Islamic State at the border with Turkey, a senior Syrian rebel said on Sunday, a move that would frustrate Kurdish hopes to expand further in that area.
The rebels, Turkey-backed groups fighting under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, are expected to assault Jarablus from inside Turkey in the next few days, said the rebel official, who is familiar with the plans but declined to be identified.
"The factions are gathering in an area near the border (inside Turkey)," the rebel said.
Jarablus, located on the western bank of the Euphrates river, is the last significant town held by the militant Islamist group on Syria's border with Turkey. It is 34 miles (54km) east of al-Rai, a border town the same rebel groups recently took from Islamic State.
By taking Jarablus themselves, the rebel groups would preclude an assault on the town by the Syrian Democratic Forces(SDF), a group of Kurdish-dominated militias who on Aug. 6 took the city of Manbij, 20 miles (30km) to the south, from IS.