The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), however, has pointed out that the Islamic State has retreated from Ain Issa. No causality numbers have been given at this time, but SOHR has reported that three fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) were killed by Islamic State suicide bombers in Tal Abyad today.
The loss of Ain Issa effectively puts the Kurds in control of the Tal Abyad district of Raqqah province, which makes up the northern most third of the province.
Additionally, the US-led international coalition has launched eight airstrikes in the last two days against the Islamic State near Tal Abyad. Yesterday, US Central Command (CENTOM) said "five airstrikes struck one large and four small ISIL tactical units, destroying three ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle." While today, CENTCOM reported "three airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units, an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL vehicle." ISIL being the outdated acronym of "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant."
The loss of Brigade 93 and Ain Issa comes after the Islamic State lost control of Tal Abyad to Kurdish fighters. The border town of Tal Abyad was captured by Kurdish forces from both the Kobane and Jazira cantons last week. The BBC notes that the loss of Tal Abyad cuts off a key supply route used by the Islamic State, as well as losing control over the border crossing. With the loss of Tal Abyad, the aforementioned Kurdish Kobane and Jaziria cantons (the latter of which consists of Hasakah province) have now joined as one front.
In both the battle for Ain Issa and Tal Abyad, the Kurdish forces have been backed by FSA forces, most notably from the Burkan Furat (Euphrate's Volcano) operations room. Burkan Furat consists of the YPG and various northern Aleppo and Raqqah based FSA units. A video released by the operations room from Ain Issa can be seen above.
The loss of territory so close to the capital of the so-called Islamic State is incredibly significant as it eats into the heart of Islamic State controlled ground. Not only that, but if the Kurds can hold onto Tal Abyad and Ain Issa, it will be the biggest defeat the Islamic State has suffered at the hands of Kurdish forces. Not only that, but the loss of the Tal Abyad crossing makes it more difficult to smuggle weapons and fighters in from Turkey, according to Andrew Tabler of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.