World Bulletin / News Desk
The Syrian Arab Coalition has recently gained a critical foothold in the southern portion of Manbij city in northern Syria, U.S. military said Thursday.
The coalition is a U.S.-backed group under the umbrella of Syrian Democratic Forces, an opposition alliance in Syria comprised predominantly of YPG militants.
According to a U.S. Central Command statement, the force now “maintained control of the flow of vehicles and people to and from the city in the south.”
The U.S.-led coalition conducted 44 airstrikes targeting ISIL positions in support of the offensive, totaling the number of strikes in and around the city to more than 270, the CENTCOM said.
“ISIL continues to use civilians as human shields and is employing snipers, tunnels, and booby traps to slow the SAC [Syrian Arab Coalition] advance. ISIL also executed families caught trying to flee the city,” it added.
The Pentagon claims the offensive is led by 3,000 Arab fighters and is supported by 450 to 500 YPG fighters, assuring Turkey that the YPG would not take over the city.
Turkey considers YPG, the military wing of the PYD, to be an offshoot of the PKK in Syria.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests -- which erupted as part of the "Arab Spring" uprisings -- with unexpected ferocity.
Since then, more than a quarter of a million people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced across the war-battered country, according to the UN.
The Syrian Center for Policy Research, however, put the death toll from the six-year conflict at more than 470,000 people.Güncelleme Tarihi: 01 Temmuz 2016, 12:39