Dabiq Falls To Free Syrian Rebels

(The Guardian)
(The Guardian)

The Sultan Murad group, a Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebel militia backed by Turkey, announced today that it had captured the town of Dabiq in northern Syria, following the retreat of Daesh fighters. Part of Operation Euphrates Shield, initiated by Turkey in August following a Daesh suicide attack on the city of Gaziantep, FSA forces have cleared a section of Syrian territory north of Aleppo with the aid of Turkish tanks, aircraft, and special operations forces.

Dabiq’s fall is significant for Daesh’s self-proclaimed caliphate, given the role accorded to the city in the group’s propaganda. In hadith, or sayings attributed to the Prophet Mohammad, Dabiq was to be the location of the final battle between Muslims and infidels before Doomsday. Daesh featured Dabiq prominently in its messaging and used it as the title for its sophisticated online journal. Several American and British aid workers were executed there.

“The Daesh myth of their great battle in Dabiq is finished,” Ahmed Osman, head of the Sultan Murad group, told Reuters.

The fall of Dabiq is the latest in a succession of military defeats Daesh has suffered this year, including losing control of the historic city of Palmyra and much of the territory it had controlled in northern Syria. Iraqi forces retook Fallujah and most of Anbar province, and the beginning of a long-planned operation to free Mosul in northern Iraq appears imminent.

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Shawn Woodford
Shawn Woodford

Shawn Robert Woodford, Ph.D., is a military historian with nearly two decades of research, writing, and analytical experience on operations, strategy, and national security policy. His work has focused on special operations, unconventional and paramilitary warfare, counterinsurgency, counterterrorism, naval history, quantitative historical analysis, nineteenth and twentieth century military history, and the history of nuclear weapon development. He has a strong research interest in the relationship between politics and strategy in warfare and the epistemology of wargaming and combat modeling.

All views expressed here are his and do not reflect those of any other private or public organization or entity.

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