Islamic State fighters fleeing Dabiq on Sunday averts Islamic Armageddon, a signal to ‘end of the world’ Muslim prophecy

By @vitthernandez on
Rebel Fighters
A rebel fighter takes away a flag that belonged to Islamic State militants in Akhtarin village, after rebel fighters advanced in the area, in northern Aleppo Governorate, Syria, October 7, 2016. Reuters/Khalil Ashawi

The threat of World War III looms amid the worsening of relationship between the US and Russia. However, the threat of an Islamic Armageddon, the apocalyptic showdown between Christian and Muslim armies, was just averted.

Washington Post reports that the Islamic version of the battle of Armageddon, which signals the end of the world, would not push through because the last Islamic State (IS) fighter just fled Dabiq. The epic battle was supposed to be waged in Dabiq, according to ancient prophecies believed by Muslims.

The last IS fighters who were defending Dabiq, a small town with a population of 3,500, left on Sunday without a fight because a small force of Free Syrian Army rebels, back by Turkey and US airstrikes had advanced. But losing Dabiq was more symbolic for IS that strategic, dashing further hopes of establishing an Islamist caliphate and proof of the weakening of the terror group known for beheading its western hostages.

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. Col John Dorrian, spokesman of the US military in Baghdad, points out IS supporters are expected to wage a tough battle to defend Mosul, the biggest city controlled by the terror organisation.

Having brought forces and foreign armies to Dabiq, however, could be used by Islamic spin doctors to claim an ideological victory, says Malcolm Nance, terrorism expert and author of two books on the IS. He adds the IS could use spin the entry of foreign forces to Dabiq to boost recruitment in Mosul and Raqqa.

But “No matter how the battle goes, the fact that they are fighting there is a justification that their entire reason for existence is correct and is fulfilling the words of the prophet,” Nance states. But Mathew Lester, analyst at the Soufan Group, a New York-based strategic security firm, points out on the longer-term “No matter how they try to spin it, the optics of a defeat in Dabiq are bad for ISIS,” he says.

Expounding on Dabiq in Islamic prophecy, according to CSMonitor, a hadith, or saying, of the prophet Mohammed relayed by a 7th century companion, stated that the “last hour” would not happen until “the Romans land at Amaq, or Dabiq” which many jihadist groups interpret “Romans” as western powers, particularly the US.

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