Turkish-backed Syrian rebel forces capture Dabiq from IS
Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces captured the symbolically significant town of Dabiq from the Islamic State group on Sunday as government forces reversed recent rebel advances in the center of the country.
Though only a small town of marginal strategic importance in northern Syria, Dabiq has figured centrally in IS propaganda. Citing Islamic lore, the extremist group claims it will be the stage for an apocalyptic battle between Crusaders and an army of the Muslim caliphate that will herald doomsday.
But Islamic State fighters put up “minimal” resistance in defending Dabiq, according to a commander of the Syrian opposition Hamza Brigade, before they withdrew south to al-Bab, which remains under IS control.
Saif Abu Bakr said some 2,000 opposition fighters pushed into Dabiq with tank and artillery support from the Turkish army.