FSA marches toward Daish stronghold as critical battle looms
by Yunus Paksoy
OYLUM ON SYRIAN BORDEROct 12, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Yunus Paksoy
Oct 12, 2016 12:00 am
Daish, one of the most violent terrorist groups in world history, considers the town of Dabiq in northern Syria to be sacred, vowing to start an all-out "Doomsday War" in the town with "infidels." As the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) closes in on a 2-kilometer radius around the city, fierce clashes are expected in the coming days.
An FSA commander who spoke to Daily Sabah on the condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media asserted that an intensive, large-scale operation will begin in the next few days in coordination with the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
The military's advance toward the town comes after Daish-held villages and towns like Jarablus were liberated of the terrorist organization as part of Operation Euphrates Shield, which began on Aug. 24. The FSA commander said that some locals told military officers that "they have been waiting for the FSA to liberate the town of Dabiq from Daish."
The Turkey-backed FSA has so far taken control of 132 villages and towns, a total of roughly 1,100 square kilometers in northern Syria. According to a statement released by the TSK yesterday, the FSA liberated Baragidah, Kafr Ghan, Tughali, Sheikh Rih, Yahmul, Cariz and al-Bil on Monday. Two FSA fighters were killed and six others wounded in the clashes.
After capturing the nearby town of Aktharin last week, the FSA has reinforced its presence in the area ahead of a war in Dabiq which will be a crucial test for Daish, whose potential defeat could spell the end of days for Daish, according to former President of the Syrian Turkmen Assembly Abdurrahman Mustafa.
In a recent interview with a Turkish daily, Mustafa said that Dabiq places a crucial role in the religious ideology of the terrorist organization, claiming that, "If Daish is defeated in Dabiq, it will enter a phase of collapse."
Recently, Daily Sabah spoke with FSA fighters in the town of Jarablus, where fighters asserted that they are "ready to take on Daish both in Dabiq and al-Bab to liberate the people." Hamza, a 20-year-old FSA fighter,said: "We liberated Jarablus, and -- God willing -- we will liberate Dabiq, as well."
The commander said that the FSA "has done a good job of sweeping out the Daish presence from northern Syria" and pushing them southwards. "The war in Dabiq will be crucial. God willing, we will prevail with the help of the Turkish military," he asserted.
According to the statement given by the TSK, Fırtına or storm howitzers and multiple rocket launchers struck 91 Daish targets while fighter jets pounded seven targets with eight bombs in the regions of Duwaybiq, Cubbon and Tall Ashah. Since Operation Euphrates Shield began, the Turkish military has destroyed 28 landmines and 1,023 handmade explosives, according to the statement.