London – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) announced on Sunday that U.S. supported forces has control now over 40% of Manbij in northern Syria. SOHR added that the forces currently control important areas of the strategic city.
SOHR added that Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took control over various eastern areas of the besieged city with air cover from the U.S. lead coalition.
SOHR told Reuters that the democratic forces captured a clinic, school and a roundabout in the heart of eastern Manbij following fierce clashes. No casualties have been reported.
In the past 24 hours, around 2,300 civilians fled Manbij as the SDF fighters advanced, according to the monitor.
SOHR director Rami Abdul Rahman told AFP: “It’s a street battle.”
He said the SDF had advanced into eastern parts of Manbij, which is located in Aleppo on ISIS’ main supply route between Raqqa in Syria and Turkish borders. He added that SDF have been trying to retake Manbij from ISIS.
SDF has been slowed down because of a fierce counteroffensive by the jihadists who use suicide attacks and booby-trapped cars.
On July 21, SDF gave ISIS 48 hours to leave Manbij in an attempt to save lives. The terrorist organization ignored the ultimatum and the fighting continued.
The initiative came after at least 56 civilians, including children, were reportedly killed in U.S-led air strikes on Toukhar town near Manbij. This provoked criticism from Syrian opposition and other forces. Syrian opposition National Coalition even called for the U.S-led strikes to be suspended.
The coalition said it has opened an investigation in the attacks.
Activists and civilians in the city said that tens of civilians have been killed this month in air strikes on the city and to the north of Manbij.
Amnesty International declared that U.S-led coalition forces carrying out airstrikes in Syria must redouble efforts to prevent civilian deaths and investigate possible violations.