Kurdish fighters break into a former security center for ISIS in northern Raqqa. Photo: ARA News
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AMUDE – The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have captured an ISIS headquarters in Western Manbij, that has been for long used by the radical group as a command centre and logistics hub, the US-led coalition said on Tuesday.
“The Da’esh headquarters, located in a hospital, was being used as a command center and logistics hub. The SAC [SDF] also seized a significant amount of the city during the operation, which provided civilians the opportunity to escape,” the coalition said.
According to the coalition, the SDF forces continue to fight ISIS on four fronts within the city of Manbij, “carefully clearing territory toward the city center while ensuring the safety of any civilians who still remain,” the coalition said.
“[The SDF] freed additional territory in the city of Manbij in the face of determined resistance from ISIL,” the Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said, using another acronym for ISIS.
“The hospital was contested for some time and it was a significant challenge for these forces operating in Manbij to expel ISIL from the building without doing major damage,” the Pentagon official said.
However, he said the hospital will be returned to the civilians, after Manbij is fully recaptured.
“They [SDF] have succeeded in that effort, and so once the city is secured, the hospital will be returned to local civilian control so it can once again serve city residents,” he stated.
Nevertheless, ISIS continues fighting hard in the Manbij city centre and organized counter attacks. But the Syrian Democratic Forces are maintaining their momentum with a support from the US-led coalition airforces.
Since the operation for Manbij border pocket began on 31 May, the coalition has carried out 450 airstrikes against ISIS.
“These airstrikes destroyed Da’esh heavy weapons, vehicles, fortifications, vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices, VBIED facilities, armored vehicles, technical vehicles, bridges, and caches,” the coalition said.
The destruction of these ISIS assets disrupts the group’s operations and makes them vulnerable here and on the Mar’a line [north of Aleppo province], the coalition added.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg
Source: ARA News