Heavy fighting in Manbij continues amid ISIS attempts to keep positions: Pentagon

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Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) engaged in clashes with ISIS militants in Manbij. File photo: ARA News

ARA News 

AMUDE – Heavy fighting inside the city of Manbij of northern Syria continues between the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and militants of the Islamic State (ISIS), with less progress for the SDF, the Pentagon said on Friday. 

“There’s been some pretty intense fighting in Manbij. Some of the forces trying to remove ISIL [ISIS] from Manbij have entered the center of the city and there’s been some pretty intense fighting,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said about the ongoing offensive led by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

“There’s been a significant flow of civilians as well trying to leave Manbij. But in terms of the actual situation on the ground, there hasn’t been too much movement other than some of those forces have again been able to enter portions of the city and continue to make progress, but it has not changed all that much in the last few days,” he concluded.

The Pentagon spokesperson wasn’t also aware of any negotiations with ISIS to leave the city. “But right now, what we see is fighting. We see ISIL trying to retain that territory and devoting a lot of resources to it.  And likewise, the Syrian Arab coalition continues to push forward against that and continues to show a lot of toughness and resiliency in the process,” he said.

In an effort to fight against the SDF advances, the Islamic State fighters recently started to forcefully recruiting men between 15 and 40 years old for Jihad, local media sources reported.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg 

Source: ARA News 

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