World Bulletin / News Desk
Dabiq, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Aleppo and around 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of Syria’s border with Turkey, has a symbolic importance for ISIL, as the group believes it will be the site of an end-times battle with non-Muslims. Dabiq is also the name of one of ISIL’s online magazines.
Kurtulmus reiterated that the presence of Turkish troops in Iraq's Camp Bashiqa would continue.
"Whenever the situation improves, and it is no longer necessary for Turkey to train and equip [the Sunni tribal forces], and to protect our people [in the camp] from ISIL and other extremist organizations, then Turkey may review the situation. But for now, Turkey will continue its presence in Bashiqa," he said.
Last December, Turkey sent 150 troops and about two dozen combat tanks to Bashiqa, located 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) northeast of Mosul.
Ankara and Baghdad have been locked in a row about the presence of Turkish troops there.
Ankara has insisted that nearly 3,000 Sunni tribal forces trained by Turkish forces at the Bashiqa base on the eastern outskirts of Mosul join the anti-ISIL offensive and remain in the city as a police force. Baghdad is still at odds with that proposal.