The Syrian Coalition said that the FSA’s liberation of the town of Dabiq form ISIS is the beginning of the end for the extremist group. The Coalition said that capturing Dabiq, which has symbolic importance for ISIS, represents a turning point in the fight to cleanse all of Syria’s territory from this extremist group.
The Coalition reiterated that the FSA has proved itself the force most capable of defeating terrorism in all its forms in Syria if it receives enough support and when the international community shows a real will to defeat terrorism.
Activists in northern rural Aleppo said that the FSA groups has liberated 10 villages from ISIS in the past two days as part of the Turkish-backed Shield of the Euphrates Operation. The latest gains against ISIS enabled the FSA to break the siege on the nearby town of Marea. The FSA groups are now preparing to advance on the strategic town of Albab to the south.
The Turkish Army’s Chiefs of Staff announced that the FSA, backed by artillery and aerial cover by the Turkish forces, has captured nine towns east of Marea, adding that the FSA has begun clearing the liberated areas east of Marea from mines and IEDs planted by ISIS fighters.
The FSA’s gains in northern rural Aleppo were hailed regionally and internationally, with the US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter welcoming the FSA’s capture of Dabiq. Carter on Monday described the capture of Dabiq as a “military and symbolic blow” to ISIS and that it will give new momentum to the campaign to defeat the extremist group.
Saudi Arabia also welcomed the FSA’s recent gains, while Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the capture of the towns of Souran and Dabiq is a positive development and an important step towards the liberation of the rest of Syrian towns and cities. Qatar expressed full support for all measures taken by Turkey to enhance the security on its borders against external threats.
(Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies / 17.10.2016)