Western-backed Syrian rebels dismantling ISIS explosives in liberated town

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

ARA News 

ALEPPO – The US-led coalition said that operations of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) continue in the city of Manbij and that they support both opposition rebels in Manbij and al-Rai area.

“The Syrian Arab Coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces continue operations in Manbij City in the ongoing effort to clear the liberated city of Da’esh [ISIS] fighters, identify and remove improvised explosive devices, and establish a defensive posture capable of thwarting a Da’esh counter-attack,” the coalition said in a press statement on Monday.

“The continued clearance is part of a broader effort to prepare defendable positions for long-term security in Manbij City,” the coalition added.

“After expelling ISIS from the city, we’ve warned civilians not to approach their houses before their cleared by the SDF. Our specialised teams are now dismantling a large deal of explosives and landmines left by ISIS terrorists,” Manbij Military council Commander, General Abu Amjad told ARA News in an earlier interview.

“The full extent and complexity of the improvised explosive devices and booby traps in Manbij City is slowly emerging and still presents a threat to civilians. These devices were left behind by Da’esh fighters to maim civilians and slow operations,” the coalition said.

“The population is receiving a variety of assistance throughout the area. The SAC established dedicated medical facilities and continues to work with Coalition partners to ensure the availability of humanitarian assistance. The Kurdish Regional Government increased the capacity of the Fishkapour crossing to allow the movement of non-government officials to deliver humanitarian assistance for internally displaced persons,” it added.

The coalition also stressed that it supports both the Turkish-backed rebels that fight against ISIS in al-Rai, and the SDF forces that continue to take control of villages north and south of Manbij.

“The Coalition-supported Syrian moderate opposition efforts in Manbij City and al-Rai continue to weaken Da’esh’s threat to Turkey, Europe, and the United States,” the coalition said.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg

Source: ARA News

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