Syrian armed opposition advances on Dabiq, IS stronghold

The advance comes after Turkish-backed Syrian rebel forces captured the border town of Jarablus at the end of August
The advance comes after Turkish-backed Syrian rebel forces captured the border town of Jarablus at the end of August

Turkish-backed rebels in Syria are advancing on Dabiq, a symbolically important stronghold of so-called Islamic State.

The small town holds great value to IS because of a prophecy of an apocalyptic battle, and features heavily in its propaganda.

The operation comes as US and Russian envoys meet in Switzerland to discuss possible routes to a new ceasefire.

But diplomats have played down hopes of any breakthrough at the talks.

Since a brief truce collapsed last month, Syrian government forces backed by Russian air strikes have intensified their bombardment of rebel-held areas in Aleppo.

Aid agencies say a 72-hour ceasefire is urgently needed to allow supplies in and civilians out of devastated areas in the east of the city.

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