MANBIJ, Syria (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Manbij Military Council (MMC) liberated the remaining IS-held parts of Manbij in northern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) announced on Saturday.
France-based international news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) said, according to the SOHR director Rami Abdul Rahman, that the Kurdish-led, US-backed forces in Syria now control Manbij completely.
The Observatory added that pockets of Islamic State (IS) insurgents are still present in the center of the city.
However, Sharvan Darwish, a senior SDF military commander and spokesperson, told Kurdistan24 that the fighting is still ongoing in central parts of Manbij.
“MMC and SDF fighters are still fighting in some areas of Manbij, and we [SDF command] only have the authority and priority to announce any news about the liberation of the town,” he said.
“Manbij has not been entirely controlled,” Darwish added.
Regarding the casualties during the operation against IS in Manbij since May 31, SOHR reported that 432 civilians lost their lives in the clashes. These numbers included 104 children under the age of 10, and 54 women.
Additionally, the Observatory informed that about 203 civilians were killed because of the US-led coalition airstrikes, including 52 children, 18 women, and eight prisoners.
On Friday, the SDF and MMC forces reached the center of Manbij and liberated a strategic section of the town center called Batta Square.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany