02:22 - Source: CNN
Iraqi military inflicts 'heavy losses' on ISIS in Mosul
CNN  — 

ISIS got smacked with a trio of setbacks over the weekend, with the loss of a key city, the death of an influential figure and – oh yes – the invasion of its biggest stronghold in Iraq.

Here’s quick look at the terror group’s recent losses:

The fall of Dabiq, Syria

Rebels from the Free Syrian Army fire against ISIS on the outskirts of Dabiq on Saturday, one day before they seized the city from the terror group.

Dabiq isn’t just any town in Syria. It’s strategically located, just a few miles south of the Turkish border, and is highly symbolic to ISIS.

Some Islamic prophecies portend Dabiq to be the site of an apocalyptic battle between Christians and Muslims. ISIS even named its English-language propaganda magazine “Dabiq.”

So rebels from the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army dealt ISIS a major blow when they seized the town Sunday, Turkish state media and a monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it received reports that groups of ISIS fighters had withdrawn from Dabiq.

US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter congratulated the fighters involved.

“This is more than just the latest military result against this barbaric group,” he said in a statement. “Dabiq held symbolic importance to ISIL (another acronym for ISIS). The group carried out unspeakable atrocities in Dabiq … and claimed it would be the site of a final victory for the so-called caliphate. Instead, its liberation gives the campaign to deliver ISIL a lasting defeat.”

But the work in Dabiq isn’t over. Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said Free Syrian Army fighters are trying to clear the town of mines, booby traps and IEDs.

The death of an ISIS leader in Turkey

02:42 - Source: CNN
22 children among the dead in Turkey wedding attack

Mehmet Kadir Cabel was the regional leader for ISIS in Gaziantep, where an August bombing killed 54 people at a wedding.

Cabel was killed Sunday when police raided his hideout there, Anadolu reported.

He “ran the group’s terrorist activities” in Gaziantep by “managing the group’s cell and providing logistical support,” police told Anadolu.

The operation to take out Cabel was costly. Three police officers were killed in the attempt, Anadolu said.

But 19 other suspected ISIS members were captured during the operation, along with Cabel’s wife and two children.

The invasion of Mosul, Iraq

04:13 - Source: CNN
Civilians in grave danger in battle to retake Mosul

This could mark the beginning of the end of ISIS in Iraq.

Before dawn Monday, Iraqi-led forces launched an offensive to reclaim the country’s second-largest city from ISIS’ grip.

The Iraqi military said it had already inflicted “heavy losses of life and equipment” on ISIS in a district southeast of Mosul.

The area saw two or three explosions each hour in the beginning of the assault, along with heavy bombardment from the air.

CNN’s Nick Paton-Walsh, who is embedded with a Peshmerga convoy near Mosul, said he saw “staggering scenes” as forces pushed toward the city, with sporadic fighting erupting as they encountered pockets of ISIS fighters.

“They obviously have overwhelming numbers here and are moving very quickly against ISIS,” he said. “But ISIS is showing that it’s very willing to put up a fight.”

CNN’s Isil Sariyuce, Max Blau and Hande Atay Alam contributed to this report.