Rebel Commanders Re-take Town in SyriaOctober 19, 2016 in Syria
Rebel commanders and monitors have reported that Turkish-backed rebels have captured the symbolically important Syrian town of Dabiq from the so-called Islamic State (IS) group.
According to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Dabiq was under “full control” of Turkish-based Syrian rebels. The small town, which is located in the northern region of the country, holds great value for IS because of a prophecy of an apocalyptic battle and it has been heavily featured in IS propaganda. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has reported that 1,200 IS fighters had been brought in to defend Dabiq. The battle for the town has been building for weeks, with one village after another being seized from IS militants by rebel fighters who are backed by Turkish airstrikes.
The advance on Dabiq is part of a wider offensive led by Syrian rebel groups, with Ahmed Osman, the commander of the Sultan Murad rebel group, reporting that the group had also recaptured the neighbouring village of Soran.
In other Syrian developments, during a meeting of foreign ministers in London, US Secretary of State John Kerry disclosed that new sanctions were being considered against Russi and Syria because of their actions in the city of Aleppo. Meanwhile there are reports of at least one person dead and dozens injured in an explosion that occurred on the edge of the makeshift Rukban camp, where some 75,000 Syrian refugees are trapped on their country’s border with Jordan.