A SDF member helping civilians evacuate the city centre of Manbij, where heavy fighting has been ongoing between the SDF and ISIS for more than two months. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

KOBANE – The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have announced the final phase of the operation to liberate civilians taken hostage by ISIS in the al-Sirib neighbourhood in Manbij city, after ISIS rejected initiatives to allow civilians to escape the war-torn city.

According to the SDF-led Manbij Military Council, they have saved so far 170,000 civilians trapped in the city from ISIS. “ISIS has been using civilians as human shields and make them part of their military plans since the liberation campaign began [on 31 May], but we took all necessary measures to protect the life of our people,” the council said in a statement on Friday.

The SDF-affiliated Manbij Military Council says that their forces now control most of Manbij, and tightened the siege on ISIS militants. In a response, ISIS has tried to use civilians as human shields “in order to exploit our moral commitments,” the council said.

“As a result we have offered three initiatives to save civilians, and to remove them from the battle zones, the last one was five days ago, but it was rejected by ISIS extremists who have no concern about innocent children and women,” the council said.

ARA News reporters have witnessed several civilians being injured and killed by ISIS mines and snipers, some of them are being treated by the doctors in the Amal hospital in Kobane.

Reporting by: Jan Mohammed

Source: ARA News

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