Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) engaged in clashes with ISIS militants in Manbij. Photo: ARA News
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MANBIJ – The anti-ISIS battle for Manbij border pocket continued on Monday, and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have captured key areas inside the city of Manbij after clashes with militants of the Islamic State (ISIS), military sources reported.
Local sources told ARA news that a large number of civilians are still stranded inside the war-torn city, adding that the ISIS radical group has been using them as human shields by keeping them inside the combat areas.
“For this reason, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) kept avoiding the use of heavy weapons in the clashes, in order to guarantee the safety of civilians,” SDF spokesman in Manbij Abu Hassan told ARA News.
“We are just 400m from the central market of Manbij where many civilians are stranded and being used by ISIS as human shields. ISIS militants currently rely on their snipers, and we cannot use heavy weapons to avoid civilian casualties,” the official said.
Accordion to the military leadership of the US-backed SDF, their forces will soon liberate the city, and they’re evacuating hundreds of civilians everyday from the clashes areas.
Speaking to ARA News, SDF fighter Ahmed Hussein said: “We are now stationed here next to the Manbij silos, which has been a strategic location for ISIS before we liberated it. We are at the entrance of Manbij city. ISIS has suffered heavy losses in the clashes, and we’re preparing to storm their headquarters downtown.”
“We have already expelled ISIS militants from nearly 70% of the city, and soon we’ll liberate it completely,” Hussein said.
Reporting by: Enwer Omer
Source: ARA News