Syrian Kurdish forces advancing into Manbij. Photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The main Jarabulus-Manbij road and two villages have been captured by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) on Monday in ongoing military operations to capture the town of Manbij, northeast of Aleppo, from the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.
Counter-ISIS forces on the Qaraqozaq front took the Jarabulus-Manbij road, killing ISIS militants in the operation, according to information released by the SDF.
The villages of Khirbat Aiwsh and Majri Nahr were also cleared of ISIS militants on the Qaraqozaq front.
Both villages are just seven kilometers from eastern Manbij.
The Manbij offensive coincides with another SDF offensive which is taking ground from ISIS and putting further pressure on its stronghold in Raqqa.
At the same time Syrian military forces backed by Russian airstrikes have entered Raqqa province with the aim of recapturing the strategically important town of Tabqa, 40 kilometres west of the city of Raqqa.
In addition to the two taken today, at least 21 villages located near the besieged town of Manbij have been captured from ISIS in the operation that started last week which aims to push back the militants from the strategic town of Manbij in the country’s northwest.
A spokesperson for the YPG said that 8 fighters have been killed in the offensive including the Kurdish guerilla “Abu Laila” who died of fatal injuries in a hospital in Sulaimani where he was taken for treatment. His funeral was held today in Kobane.
Unconfirmed reports say that 143 militants were killed in bombing raids that continued throughout the five-day operation.