Syrian rebels seize village Dabiq where Islamic State promised final battle
Oct 19 2016 by Desiree Burns
The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military arms of the Democratic Syria forces and the People's Protection Units seek to take control of an area including Jarabulus, Manbaj, Azaz and Al-Bab to flesh out a project for a Kurdish region in northern Syria, either as Syrian Kurdistan or the Rojava Federation.
United States-led coalition warplanes killed 20 ISIS terrorists in Syria over the last 24 hours, the Turkish military said on Tuesday, almost two months into a Turkey-backed rebel operation to drive the terrorists away from the border.
Turkey launched an unprecedented operation inside Syria on August 24, helping Syrian rebels to rid its frontier of IS jihadis and Syrian Kurdish militia.
The minister also confirmed that Turkish-backed rebel fighters seized the town of Dabiq from Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
Syrian rebels dealt a major symbolic blow to the Islamic State group yesterday by capturing the town of Dabiq where the militants had promised a fierce battle.
Syria was hit by a violent unrest since mid-March 2011, when opposition demonstrations turned into a civil war ignited by the US, Germany, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and many other European and Arab states who supported - and still supporting - the armed groups operating against the national military.
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Free Syrian Army fighters patrol in Jarablus, Syria in August.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said Turkey would push farther south to create a 5,000-sq. -km (1,900 sq. -mile) safe zone in Syria. The group named its online magazine after it, but has downplayed its significance recently, saying this battle is not the epic that was prophesied.
The Turkish military intervened in the Syrian war in August this year under orders from Ankara to clear the border area from the Islamic State group and from US -backed Syrian Kurdish forces linked to Turkey's own outlawed Kurdish insurgency.
"Strategically, it is important that the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army forces will continue their advance toward al-Bab, a key terrorist stronghold", Kalın also told Reuters.
The BBC quotes Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announcing that Dabiq was now under the "full control" of Turkish-backed Syrian rebels.