Rebels ‘capture’ IS Stronghold of Dabiq

The small northern town holds great value for IS because of a prophecy of an apocalyptic battle

Turkish-backed rebels have captured the symbolically important Syrian town of Dabiq from the Islamic State group, rebel commanders and monitors say.

The rebels took Dabiq after “IS members withdrew”, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The small northern town holds great value for IS because of a prophecy of an apocalyptic battle, and features heavily in its propaganda.

The advance on Dabiq is part of a wider offensive by Syrian rebel groups.

Ahmed Osman, the commander of the Sultan Murad rebel group, told Reuters news agency on Sunday morning that the group had also recaptured the neighbouring village of Soran.

The battle for Dabiq has been building for weeks – with one village after another being seized from IS by rebel fighters backed by Turkish airstrikes.

In the end, it seems to have fallen on swiftly after the announcement of the final assault on Saturday.

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