Bomb during police raid in Turkey's Gaziantep wounds several

They were supported by Turkish tanks and artillery, and airstrikes from global coalition warplanes. Turkey is a member of Operation Inherent Resolve, the multi-national coalition led by the USA fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

In a recent edition of its al-Naba online publication, the group said the coming battle for Dabiq was not the one in the prophesy.

The group claimed that Kassig, 26, was killed in Dabiq and the village was chosen because of its significance in Islamic end-of-time prophecies. Instead, he said, the defeat of Islamic State there brings "new momentum" in Syria.

Fighters from the Free Syrian Army fire an anti-aircraft machine gun mounted on a vehicle deploy during fighting against the Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in the northern Syrian village of Yahmoul in the Marj Dabiq area north of the embattled city of Aleppo on October 10.

However, it is the battle for Mosul that could take place in the coming days which should be the most consequential of the two-year-old western campaign against the IS.

The offensive began with airstrikes and artillery attacks from the Turkish military, which is part of the USA -led coalition battling Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

Fastaqim said rebels then went on to seize several nearby towns, including Sawran, Ihtimaylat, and Salihiyah.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, Rebels captured Dabiq after IS [Daesh] members withdrew from the area.

The loss was just the latest to plague Islamic State militants after a series of significant setbacks in Syria and Iraq at the hands of various forces, rebel commanders said.

In Iraq the army backed by Shi'ite Muslim militia groups has this year recaptured Falluja and is now poised for an offensive on Mosul, where Islamic State's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in 2014 declared himself heir to Islam's caliphs.

He told Reuters it was important strategically that the Turkey-backed forces continue their advance toward the Islamic State stronghold of al-Bab. USA support for the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria has always been a sour point in the relationship between Washington and its key ally in the region, Turkey.

Syrian opposition fighters backed by Turkish ground and air forces have since expelled IS militants from their last positions along the Syrian-Turkish frontier and are closing in on al-Bab, one of their last remaining strongholds in Syria's contested Aleppo province.

Turkey launched an incursion into Syria in August in support of Syrian rebels to try to push Daesh from its border.

He confirmed that the Turkish-baked rebels have also took neighbouring Soran.

Suicide bombers blew themselves up in the Turkish city of Gaziantep near the Syrian border on Sunday, causing an unknown number of casualties, after police raided their sleeper cell, state media reported.

Anti-IS fighters and their Turkish backers "have amassed in Aleppo, announcing Dabiq as their major goal", the jihadists said, thinking they can score "a great moral victory against the Islamic State".

  • Leroy Wright