ISIL 'on the ropes' as Manbij liberated: Pentagon

Spokesman says Manbij is historically an Arab city and that U.S. clearly understands Turkey's sensitivities there

ISIL 'on the ropes' as Manbij liberated: Pentagon

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Pentagon said Friday that Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the extremist PKK's Syrian affiliate, Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), continue operations to liberate Manbij in northern Syria where clashes are ongoing with ISIL.

"Although fighting in Manbij continues, ISIL is clearly on the ropes. It has lost the center of the city and has lost control of Manbij," Pentagon spokesman Gordon Trowbridge said during a press briefing.

He said clashes continued in northern Manbij, and added that ISIL militants used human shields while trying to escape the city.

Asked about the U.S. promise to Turkey that PYD -- a group Ankara does not recognize as a legitimate Syrian opposition -- would leave the area after Manbij's liberation, Trowbridge said Washington certainly understood Turkey's sensitivities regarding the issue.

"Manbij is historically an Arab city. It is our expectation that after its liberation is completed that will continue," the spokesman said.

According to Trowbridge, the U.S. has had conversations with the Arab-led Manbij military council about how to reestablish civilian control of the city.

He added that the U.S. was also aware of the historic sensitivities of the Iraqi government and local Arabs in the city and that it took those concerns into account.

The SDF and PYD bega operations to retake Manbij at the end of May. Approaching the city from the west of Euphrates river, the SDF and PYD besieged the city for two months.

The liberation of Manbij is important as it will cut off ISIL militants' key lines of communication between the Turkish border and Raqqa, the self-declared capital of ISIL.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Ağustos 2016, 13:07