US backed SDF advance to recapture Manbij in Syria
Tens of thousands of civilians are trapped inside the northern Syrian city of Manbij after US-backed fighters surrounded the Islamic State group stronghold.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) encircled Manbij, severing IS's principal supply route between Turkey and its de facto Syrian capital, Raqqa.
Kurdish forces are ready to enter the northern Syrian city of Manbij in Aleppo province at any time, Adnan Ebu Emced, commander of the units of the Manbij Military Council said.
Adnan Ebu Emced, commander of units of the Manbij Military Council, said that they are poised and ready to liberate Manbij, a Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) stronghold in the region along the Turkish border, at any minute.
The Manbij Military Council is a coalition formed by Arab, Turkmen and Kurdish fighters and affiliated with SDF.
Emced said that they have already managed to liberate three more villages and take control of several towns, as well as the Manbij-Aleppo and Raqqa-Manbij highways.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitor, said warplanes from a US-led coalition were conducting heavy bombing raids on Manbij.
"Tens of thousands of civilians who are still there can't leave as all the routes out of the city are cut," Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The US envoy to the antiIS coalition backing the SDF, Brett McGurk, said the surrounding of Manbij had severed an important route for IS fighters.
"ISIL terrorists now completely surrounded with no way out," he wrote on Twitter, using another name for IS.
The town is one of the largest areas held by ISIS in the northern Aleppo province. Many of its residents fled in advance of the upcoming battle.
Manbij is a waypoint on an ISIS supply line between the Turkish border and the extremist group's de facto capital, Raqqa. If the U.S.backed Syria Democratic Forces capture Manbij, it will be the extremists' biggest defeat in Syria since government forces captured the central historic town of Palmyra in March.
The U.S. Central Command said the operation to free Manbij is part of the "moderate Syrian opposition" efforts to clear areas along the border with Turkey from ISIS. Members of the American and French military have been advising forces fighting ISIS in northern Syria.
Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) attacked a convoy for the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) while trying to escape the city of Manbij in Syria’s northern Aleppo province, military sources reported.
At least ten ISIS militants were killed in the SDF shelling, including the ISIS governor of Manbij Osama al-Tounsi.
“Al-Tounsi was trying to escape Manbij along with his family and a number of his escorts. Their convoy was hit with several artillery shells. They were all killed in the attack,” local media activist Nasir Taljbini said.
Syria's civil war began with the brutal repression of anti-government demonstrations in 2011 and has now killed more than 280,000 people and displaced millions.