Syrian border security largely achieved with Dabiq seizure: Turkish military

Taking control of Dabiq the military eliminated the threat to Turkey from rockets fired by the jihadists, according to forces.

By: Reuters | Ankara | Published:October 17, 2016 11:22 am
In this image made from video posted online by Qasioun News Agency, members of a Turkish-backed Syrian opposition force patrol in Dabiq, Syria, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. 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. The Islamic State group took control of the town, which had a prewar population of about 3,000 people, in August 2014. (Qasioun News Agency via AP) Members of a Turkish-backed Syrian opposition force patrol in Dabiq, Syria, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. (Qasioun News Agency via AP)

Turkey-backed Syrian rebels seized control of nine areas, including the village of Dabiq, from Islamic State on Sunday, largely achieving border security between the Turkish towns of Kilis and Karkamis, the country’s military said on Monday.

Taking control of Dabiq had eliminated the threat to Turkey from rockets fired by the jihadists, the Turkish Armed Forces said in a written statement.

It said that in the last 24 hours of clashes, nine Turkey-backed rebels were killed and 24 were wounded while “many” Islamic State fighters were killed. The operation, dubbed “Euphrates Shield” was launched in late August.

The Syrian rebels, backed by Turkish tanks and warplanes, said they had taken Dabiq after clashes on Sunday morning, forcing Islamic State from a stronghold where it had promised to fight a final, apocalyptic battle with the West.

President Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Sunday Dabiq’s liberation was a “strategic and symbolic victory” against Islamic State.

He told Reuters it was important strategically that the Turkey-backed forces continue their advance toward the Islamic State stronghold of al-Bab.

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