A Kurdish fighter from the SDF is seen during clashes with ISIS militants in southeastern Hasakah. Photo: ARA News
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JARABLUS – Subsequent to clashes with militants of the Islamic State (ISIS), Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Sunday made new gains in northern Syria, seizing control of key villages on the Manbij-Jarablus highway.
The SDF-led Manbij Military Council seized control of the key village of Awn Dadat on the ISIS supply route between Jarablus and Manbij near the Turkish border.
“The SDF also liberated the villages of Khirbat Hisan, Malla Saad and Safiya north of Manbij. Today ISIS lost a main supply route between Jarablus and Manbij,” an SDF official told ARA News.
“Dozens of ISIS militants were killed in the clashes before the terror group evacuated its headquarters in the area,” the source reported.
Also on Sunday, US-backed SDF troops attacked ISIS positions in the village of Qaraa, about 6km from the city of Manbij.
The SDF targeted an ISIS weapons storage centre in Qaraa, “causing heavy losses in ISIS’ manpower and equipment” the SDF leadership said in a statement obtained by ARA News.
Syrian Democratic Forces have earlier liberated dozens of villages from ISIS in the battle for Manbij. Backed by the US-led coalition’s airstrikes, the SDF is currently engaged in clashes with ISIS at the city’s border.
Last Tuesday, the Kurdish-led SDF troops launched an operation to capture Manbij and it’s countryside from the extremist group of Islamic State (ISIS). The newly established city council of Manbij released a statement suggesting that the liberation is near.
Speaking to ARA News, US-led coalition spokesman Colonel Christopher Garver said that for the US “it’s critical that the ISIS-held Manbij pocket of 98-kilometers is seized from the radical group”.
“As to why the Manbij pocket is important, it represents a major border crossing point where foreign fighters can cross into Syria from Turkey,” Garver said.
Reporting by: Hozan Mamo
Source: ARA News