VIDEO: US-Backed Syrian Rebel Forces Surround ISIS in Key Town of Manbij

Thu Jun 9, 2016 19:02:28

US-backed rebel forces have closed all major roads leading to the northern Syrian town of Manbij, a stronghold of the Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL) group, and have surrounded it from three sides.

A statement by the Military Council of the City of Manbij, which is part of the US-backed Syria Democratic Forces, said on Thursday that all roads from the east, north and south have been cut.

On Wednesday, one SDF Commander said they would soon "save the people from the oppression and torture of Daesh (Islamic State group)", as they worked towards closing the last routes into the city.

Fighters could be seen watching airstrikes on the Manbij skyline as plumes of dark smoke rose into the northern Syrian skies.

Manbij is a key waypoint on an ISIS group supply line between the Turkish border and the extremist group's de facto capital, Raqqa, according to an SDF adviser.

On Thursday the group said they were close enough to target ISIS inside the town but they were holding off storming Manbij to avoid civilian casualties.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says SDF fighters are about 800 meters (yards) from the last main road linking Manbij with the city of Aleppo, saying that road is now closed by fire.

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