Kurdish fighters of the SDF at the battlefront in Aleppo. Photo: ARA News
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MANBIJ – Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Tuesday imposed a siege on the ISIS-held city of Manbij from three directions, after recapturing dozens of villages and farms in the vicinity of the city north of Syria’s Aleppo province.
“Supported by an air cover from the US-led coalition, the SDF troops took over the Manbij suburbs, imposing siege on ISIS militants inside the city,” a spokesman for the SDF military leadership told ARA News.
The Western-backed SDF took over most of the villages to the north, east and south of Manbij city.
“The only route that ISIS terrorists could use to escape is the western exit towards Aleppo,” the official said.
The Syrian Democratic Forces have facilitated the evacuation of nearly 200,000 civilians from Manbij and its surroundings.
“After retaking key areas near Manbij, such as Al-Qaraa, Muhtaraq and Buzkej, the SDF troops were able to help more than 200,000 civilians evacuate the area and head to more stable towns. This was to prevent the terror group from using the people as human shields in the ongoing clashes,” the SDF official told ARA News.
Local sources confirmed that a large number of ISIS militants escaped the city using the western exit, and headed to Aleppo.
“Dozens of ISIS vehicles were seen on Tuesday exiting the city through the western suburb of Manbij towards Aleppo. Those were most likely defectors who escaped the fighting fronts in the south and east of the city,” media activist Alwan Halabi told ARA News, adding that a number of Sharia officials were among those who left Manbij on Tuesday.
Reporting by: Hozan Mamo and Sarbaz Yusif
Source: ARA News