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Raqqa Isolated, Manbij a U.S.-Protected Area | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkish soldiers drive back to Turkey from the border town of Jarabulus in September 2016/ AFP

Beirut – Syria’s Democratic Forces (SDF) supported by the warplanes of the international coalition forces, seized on Monday the main supply route used by ISIS to travel between the city of Raqqa and the Deir Ezzor province, which the organization controls in the east of the country.

A Kurdish military source said the advancement achieved by the U.S.-backed SDF means that the entire route used to exit from Raqqa is currently cut off, and only one road remains open through the south of the Euphrates River.

“This is a big achievement, but there is still so much to do,” the source said.

The military development came as the Manbij Military Council announced on Monday that the city is currently under the protection of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS after an increase in “Turkish threats” against the city.

Manbij Military Council spokesman Sharfan Darwish told Reuters that the U.S.-led alliance “intensified their patrols and brought in armored vehicles,” adding that fighting between Turkish-backed forces and Manbij fighters continued to the west of the city on Monday.

Russia Today reported on Monday that the Manbij Military Council officially turned over 6 villages in the Aleppo suburbs to the Syrian regime army.

In Homs, a meeting held between the negotiations committee of al- Wa’er neighborhood and a Russian military delegation failed to reach any agreement that would stop the military campaign launched by the Syrian regime on the besieged area.

Instead, al-Wa’er witnessed on Monday intense aerial assaults, killing 4 people and injuring 25.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that following the aerial attack against the city of al-Wa’er, missiles were launched on some areas where fighting had escalated in the past three weeks.

Russia also failed to reach any ceasefire in the East Goutha region of east Damascus where Assad forces continue their escalatory military campaign. On Monday, Jaysh al-Islam launched what they called the “missiles campaign” against regime positions as a response to the attacks on East Goutha.