ISIL loses control of city where it predicted apocalyptic battle
Syrian rebels said they captured the village of Dabiq from Islamic State on Sunday, forcing the jihadist group from a stronghold where it had promised to fight a final, apocalyptic battle with the West.I have often wondered why so many in the West gave credence to the ISIL prediction of a fight to the death in Dabiq. It is almost as if the Obama administration was buying into the boast.
Its defeat at Dabiq, long a mainstay of Islamic State's propaganda, underscores the group's declining fortunes this year as it suffered battlefield defeats in Syria and Iraq and lost a string of senior leaders in targeted air strikes.
The group, whose lightning advance through swathes of the two countries and declaration that it had established a new caliphate stunned world leaders in 2014, is now girding for an offensive against Iraq's Mosul, its most prized possession.
The rebels, backed by Turkish tanks and warplanes, took Dabiq and neighboring Soran after clashes on Sunday morning, said Ahmed Osman, head of the Sultan Murad group, one of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions involved in the fighting.
"The Daesh myth of their great battle in Dabiq is finished," he told Reuters, using a pejorative name for Islamic State.