KOBANE – The US coalition envoy Brett McGurk confirmed that Manbij military commander Abu Layla [who led operations against ISIS in Syria’s Manbij] died on Sunday. He died from his heavy injuries in a hospital in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Abu Layla was injured on Friday and transported by helicopter to Iraqi Kurdistan. Nevertheless, doctors could not save him.
“Prayers with FSA commander Abu Layla who lost his life in ongoing operations to liberate his hometown of Manbij from ISIL terrorists,” the envoy said on Twitter, using another acronym for ISIS.
“SDF forces continuing rapid gains to envelop ISIL terrorists in Manbij. ISIL’s primary supply line to Raqqa is now severed. This was the same route traveled by ISIL external plotters, including the terrorists responsible for the Brussels and Paris attacks,” he added.
Iraqi Kurdish security officials also mourned the loss of the FSA commander.
“Today I mourn the loss of a friend and a great man who would not give up on Syria,” Lahur Talabani, Director of KRG’s Zanyari and Parastin Intelligence Agency and Counter-Terrorism Group (CTG) wrote on Twitter.
“Abu Layla was a great friend of the Kurds and didn’t hesitate to provide assistance when ISIS targeted Kobane. May you rest in peace,” he wrote.
The Manbij Military Council announced on Sunday that the campaign to liberate the city of Manbij from ISIS will continue in the name of ‘martyr leader Abu Layla,” and called on all people to participate in his funeral ceremony on Monday.
“The martyr leader Abu Layla was one of the first to rebel against the regime, and took up arms to defend the people, and fought against tyranny in all it’s forms,” the Manbij Military Council said.
Abu Layla fought several battles against ISIS and Assad, and was one of the founding members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and was previously injured in the battle for Kobane.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg
Source: ARA News