ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are making progress in Manbij, moving in towards the centre from all sides. They have retaken Bannawi neighbourhood and are fighting in al-Kejeli.
“Inside the city, in al-Kejeli neighborhood, 31 Daesh [Islamic State militants] were killed while [SDF] fighters were advancing,” reported Shervan Derwish, the SDF’s spokesperson.
He added that another 20 ISIS militants were killed in al-Bobna neighbourhood and “Progress towards the city centre is going on in all directions.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that the SDF are progressing in the city “in several areas in Manbij city, amid more casualties among both parties.”
The Observatory documented the deaths of at least 5 SDF members and 16 militants in the clashes. It also “received confirmed information about the death of 8 citizens, including children and citizen women after being targeted by the ‘Islamic state’ while they were trying to escape from their controlled areas in Manbij city.”
The targeting of the civilians fleeing Manbij came at the same time that the SDF and Islamic State militants were negotiating an evacuation of wounded civilians from the city, according to the Observatory. In exchange for allowing wounded civilians to leave the city and seek medical care, the SDF would allow wounded militants to also leave.
Darwish added that SDF also repelled heavy Islamic State attacks over the night and morning in the neighbourhoods of Ousajli, Tal-Serj, and Zonqel to the south and northwest of Manbij; “37 terrorists killed” he tweeted.