MANBIJ, Syria (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Manbij Military Council (MMC) announced on Monday that they control the majority of the northern Syrian town of Manbij, a key Islamic State (IS) stronghold northwest of Aleppo.
“We are less than 300 meters from the town center and about 200 meters from the strategic Sabeh Bahrat square on the northwestern side of Manbij, and our forces liberated the east, south and west sides of the city,” an SDF commander spoke to Kurdistan24 on the condition of anonymity.
An MMC fighter further explained the underlying reason for advancing slowly towards the town center.
“The clashes are ongoing in all sides, and several groups are carrying out painstaking demining in the recently liberated areas of Manbij,” he said, preferring to remain unidentified for security and military reasons.
Additionally, the SDF commander mentioned further details in the latest statement issued on Monday.
“During the security sweeps in the liberated neighborhoods at the south and west sides, SDF and MMC captured six IS insurgents, killed six others, and seized a DShK armored vehicle around the town center,” the statement read.
The statement added that the SDF and MMC liberated the National Hospital in the west side of Manbij.
The National Hospital is the biggest hospital in Manbij and is used by IS for many military and security purposes.
Up to the present moment, the Kurdish-led forces could not storm the town center and many other densely populated neighborhoods because they were worried about stranded civilians.
Last week, IS was completely pushed out of al-Asadiya neighborhood in the south side of Manbij, where top Syrian Kurdish Commander Abu Layla used to live.
Two weeks ago, the forces freed the east and southeast neighborhoods of the town.
On May 31, MMC and SDF launched the Manbij operation.
Editing by Ava Homa