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Did Islamic State make comeback to opposition areas in countryside of Aleppo?

An attempted assassination of a journalist bearing the hallmarks of the Islamic State in the opposition-held city of al-Bab in the countryside of Aleppo has prompted fears about the escalation of IS operations and stirred demands to prosecute terrorist operatives in the area.
People inspect the scene of a car bomb in the Turkish-controlled town of al-Bab in the north of Syria's Aleppo province on November 24, 2020. - The explosion, which targeted a police station on the outskirts of the town, killed a police chief from another station, two policemen and two civilians, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. (Photo by Bakr ALKASEM / AFP) (Photo by BAKR ALKASEM/AFP via Getty Images)

ALEPPO, Syria — Syria TV correspondent and journalist Bahaa al-Halabi survived an assassination attempt Jan. 6 in the Turkish-backed opposition-controlled city of al-Bab in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo. The attempt took place outside Halabi's home, as masked individuals intercepted his private car and fired their bullets directly at him.

The incident sparked controversy and fear among activists and journalists in the opposition areas in the countryside of Aleppo. Speculations soared about the entity behind this type of operations. Some believe the incident is due to the security chaos that al-Bab and other opposition-controlled areas are experiencing in the countryside of Aleppo. They believe bombings and assassinations are usually carried out by agents of the Syrian regime or the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which both share an interest in perpetuating the security chaos in the region.

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