The Turkish army backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) advanced in the Daish held village of Dabiq in northwestern Syria on Saturday, an opposition commander involved in the campaign and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
However, Turkish military sources said the operation to take Dabiq had started earlier this month and that while air and artillery strikes were targeting the village, there were no new developments on the ground on Saturday.
Speaking at a rally for inaugurations in northern province of Rize on Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey is moving forward in Euphrates Shield operation to Dabiq, and a 5,000 square kilometer safe zone will be established in Syria to securely accomodate three million Syrian refugees currently living in Turkey.
Dabiq is crucial for Daish as its symphatizers believe that the town is sacred and a doomsday war will one day be fought there with "infidels." According to the FSA, Daish terrorists will be devastated once the town is captured.
Daish has stationed around 1,200 of its terrorists there said the Observatory, a Britain-based war monitor.
Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield in cooperation with the FSA on Aug. 24 to clear its southern border of Daish terrorists and liberate northern Syrian towns from the terrorist group, while preventing PKK's Syrian wing PYD / YPG to replace Daish in these areas. In less than a day, the FSA, backed by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) liberated Jarablus and continued marching from the east and the west.