World Bulletin / News Desk
Arab led forces are trying “to gain a foothold in Manbij” as they have consolidated their position around the city since last week, the U.S military said Thursday.
“To the east of Manbij displaced persons are returning to several villages. They welcomed the freedom and security the SAC have so far brought,” a Central Command (CENTCOM) statement read, referring to the Syrian Arab Coalition.
Last week, CENTCOM announced that the Syrian Arab fighters under the umbrella of Syrian Democratic Forces, a rebel alliance in Syria comprised predominately of Kurdish YPG militants, isolated the city and completed the first phase of the operation.
In the current phase, according to the U.S. military, the group is going to secure the city and maintain the safety of civilians.
The CENTCOM statement said the U.S. is working with NGOs to primarily focus their humanitarian aid efforts on villagers returning to their homes around Manbij.
Last week, the U.S.-led coalition conducted 73 strikes on ISIL, bringing the total number of strikes in and around Manbij to 233 since the assault began late last month.
The Pentagon has said the offensive is led by 3,000 Arab fighters and is supported by 450-500 YPG fighters, assuring Turkey that YPG, the military wing of the PYD which is an offshoot of the PKK in Syria, would not take over the city.
Reports from the region claim that the majority of the forces taking on ISIL around Manbij are YPG elements.Last Mod: 24 Haziran 2016, 11:19