BEIRUT Syrian rebels aim to reach the Islamic State-held town of Dabiq within 48 hours if all goes to plan, one of their commanders said on Monday, as a Turkey-backed operation in northern Syria targets an area of great religious significance to the group.
Ahmed Osman of the Sultan Murad rebel group also said that advances near Dabiq had been slowed because Islamic State had heavily mined the area. "If matters proceed as planned, within 48 hours we will be in Dabiq," Osman told Reuters.
He said 15 rebel fighters killed on Sunday had been killed by landmines and a mortar attack in the village of Turkman Bareh, which the Turkey-backed fighters had seized from Islamic State.
(Reporting by Tom Perry; Editing by Jon Boyle)