Different strategies needed to win against ISIL in Syria and Iraq

The fight against ISIL is approaching a new milestone with Syrian rebels backed by Turkey and the United States-led coalition closing in on Dabiq, a town in rural Aleppo, which is central to the group’s propaganda.

The battle to liberate the town is expected to begin this week. Dabiq’s takeover would not just serve as a symbolic blow to the group’s core claims, but it would be a fitting win before the major battles to retake Mosul and Raqqa, ISIL’s two capitals in Iraq and Syria.

The battle to retake the areas the group controlled in Syria in 2014 is still in its early stages, unlike the one in Iraq, where the extremist group has lost more than 50 per cent of its territory. So, Washington’s next moves will shape the direction of the battle in Syria, where only 25 per cent of ISIL-controlled areas have been liberated.

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