The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Wednesday continued to advance against the Islamic State (ISIS) and cut off the key supply route of Jarabulus from the north, almost completely isolating ISIS in Manbij. U.S. anti-ISIS special envoy, Brett McGurk said on Wednesday,
“SDF forces continue rapid advance on Manbij and have now cut the supply road to Jarabulus from the north. [Islamic State’s] increasingly isolated. [ISIS] terrorists facing pressure on multiple fronts collapse on Marea line overnight. Supply line from Marea to Azaz reopened.”
Christopher Garver, spokesperson for the US-led coalition, said on Wednesday that the the SDF campaign included reopening the Euphrates River Bridge near Manbij to provide humanitarian supplies and to push the attack on ISIS. Garver said,
“The goal is to keep the enemy under pressure by making Daesh [ISIS] fight in many places at once. We’re keeping that pressure on.”
The Kurdish-led SDF forces have almost cleared out every village near Manbij and encircled Manbij over the past few days. It is expected that the battle for inside the city of Manbij will soon start.
The Manbij Military Council (MMC) said on Thursday they are highly concerned about civilians stranded in the city of Manbij in northern Syria, where clashes continue between the SDF-led MMC and militants of the Islamic State (ISIS).
“Our campaign for martyr Faisal Abu Layla for liberating Manbij and its countryside from ISIS terrorism is ongoing. We are besieging the city from the east, north and south, after cutting off the ISIS supply lines from three directions. Our forces also took over the road between Jarabulus and Manbij, and between Manbij and Raqqah. We assure that our campaign will continue until we liberate the city and the countryside from these gangs, and we thank the Syrian Democratic Forces for their moral and logistic support,” the MMC said.
The United States government has welcomed the recent advances by the Manbij council and Syrian opposition rebels in northern Aleppo. Mark Toner, US State Department spokesperson said on Wednesday,
“We do welcome the advance of Syrian opposition fighters against Daesh [ISIS] along the Marea Line in northwest Syria. This advance increases the pressure on Daesh, which is a positive development. It’s a critical area along the Turkish border as the Syrian Democratic Forces simultaneously continue to advance from the east near Manbij city. So this is a continuation of the pressure from various sides that we’re – that the anti-Daesh coalition is exerting on Daesh in Syria, and certainly it’s having an effect.”
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