KOBANE – The Manbij Military Council (MMC) said on Thursday they are highly concerned about civilians stranded in the city of Manbij in northern Syria, where clashes continue between the SDF-led MMC and militants of the Islamic State (ISIS).
“Our campaign for martyr Faisal Abu Layla for liberating Manbij and its countryside from ISIS terrorism is ongoing,” the council said. “We are besieging the city from the east, north and south, after cutting off the ISIS supply lines from three directions. Our forces also took over the road between Jarabulus and Manbij, and between Manbij and Raqqah,” the council said.
The MMC, which operates within the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said they are able to target ISIS militants inside the city of Manbij. “But the existence of civilians and our care about the safety of these families push us to be patient to raid the city and terrorist centres inside the city,” the council said.
The SDF says they have been able to reach many of the population, that was held hostage by ISIS, and provide them with food and aid from the Manbij civilian council and have cleared out several villages from mines enabling their return.
The Manbij Council called on civilians to cooperate with their forces and to not be deceived by the ‘terrorist gangs’ and stay away from ISIS centres.
“We assure that our campaign will continue until we liberate the city and the countryside from these gangs, and we thank the Syrian Democratic Forces for their moral and logistic support,” the council said.
It also thanked the international coalition for their air support and advisors.
The United States government has welcomed the recent advances by the Manbij council and Syrian opposition rebels in northern Aleppo.
“We do welcome the advance of Syrian opposition fighters against Daesh [ISIS] along the Marea Line in northwest Syria. This advance increases the pressure on Daesh, which is a positive development,” Mark Toner, US State Department spokesperson said on Wednesday. “It’s a critical area along the Turkish border as the Syrian Democratic Forces simultaneously continue to advance from the east near Manbij city,” Toner added.
“So this is a continuation of the pressure from various sides that we’re – that the anti-Daesh coalition is exerting on Daesh in Syria, and certainly it’s having an effect,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for ISIS.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg
Source ARA News