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Turkish-Backed Syrian Opposition Captures Dabiq From IS
Fighters from the Free Syrian Army fire a machine gun mounted on a vehicle deploy during fighting against the Islamic State (IS) group jihadists on the outskirts of the northern Syrian town of Dabiq, on October 15, 2016. (Photo: AFP)
Beirut: Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces have captured the symbolically significant town of Dabiq from the Islamic State group, the factions said Sunday morning.
A commander of the Syrian opposition Hamza Brigade said Islamic State fighters put up "minimal" resistance to defend the northern Syrian town before withdrawing in the direction of the much larger IS-held town of al-Bab to the south.
Saif Abu Bakr said some 2,000 opposition fighters pushed into Dabiq with tank and artillery support from the Turkish Army.
Both Turkish and international coalition warplanes conducted airstrikes on Dabiq and nearby Arshak, the Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group, which monitors the conflict through a network of local contacts, says the extremist group withdrew from Dabiq.
Islamic State propaganda had boasted of the fight for the northern Syrian town, citing Islamic lore that it would be the scene of a major battle between crusaders and army of the Muslim caliphate that would herald Doomsday. The group's English language magazine, Dabiq, is named after the town.