Syrian Democratic Forces free thousands of civilians from ISIS-held city

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Displaced civilians in the northern countryside of Syria's Aleppo. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

MANBIJ – The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) freed some 3,000 civilians on Saturday, after making more advances against the radical group of Islamic State (ISIS) in the city of Manbij, the SDF leadership reported. 

Speaking to ARA News, the official spokesman of the SDF-led Manbij Military Council Sharvan Darwish said they have freed nearly 3,000 cvilians after their forces took control of the Al-Jazeera road in Manbij city in Syria’s northern Aleppo province.

“Everyday we are liberating civilians who were trapped inside clashes districts and take them to safe areas,” he said.

“In the last few days our forces were able to release 500 to 1000 civilians per day, however today the number has increased after we liberated the Al Jazeera road,” the SDF official told ARA News.

ISIS militants have been using the trapped civilians as human shield in order to halt the advance made by SDF forces. The group has also killed dozens of people who tried to escape the city of Manbij. 

The Kurdish-led SDF forces accepted an initiative by the Manbij notable citizens to open a humanitarian corridor, but so far, ISIS did not respond to any initiative to free civilians stranded in the war-torn city.

“More than 70 per cent of Manbij is officially liberated. Our forces are now tightening the siege over the city. The ISIS militants will soon collapse in Manbij, and we are not far from liberating the city centre,” Darwish concluded.

Reporting by: Jan Mohammed

Source: ARA News

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