Syria – Conflict

ISIS Frees Hundreds of ‘Human Shields’ in Syria, Fate of Others Unknown

ISIS Frees Hundreds of ‘Human Shields’ in Syria, Fate of Others Unknown
Sat Aug 13, 2016 19:50:00

Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL / IS) terrorists have released hundreds of civilians they used as human shields while fleeing a crumbling stronghold in northern Syria, but the fate of others remained unknown Saturday.

The last remaining ISIS fighters abandoned Manbij near the Turkish border on Friday after a rout that the Pentagon said showed the extremists were “on the ropes.”

The retreat from the city which ISIS captured in 2014 marked the terrorists’ worst defeat yet at the hands of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an Arab-Kurdish alliance supported by US air power.

Fleeing fighters took around 2,000 civilians, including women and children, on Friday to ward off air strikes as they headed to the ISIS-held frontier town of Jarabulus, according to the SDF.

At least some of the civilians were later released or escaped, the alliance said on Saturday, but the whereabouts of the rest was unknown.

“There are no more ISIS fighters” left in Manbij, an SDF member said.

Kurdish television showed footage of jubilant civilians in Manbij, including smiling mothers who had shed their veils and women embracing Kurdish fighters, AFP reported.

S/SH 11

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