Kurds, Daesh clash in Syria’s Manbij after terrorists ignore ultimatum

July 24, 2016 4:00 am

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) (AFP)

Clashes
have erupted between the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and
in the northern city of Manbij after the ignore an
ultimatum to leave.

Daesh
has “not responded” to the SDF’s offer to leave and have instead
attacked positions held by our forces, said an SDF commander on
Saturday.       

“The
48-hour period is over, and there will be no more opportunities like
this one for Daesh,” added the commander, while vowing to “intensify our
attacks on their remaining positions.”

According
the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, SDF forces are
currently advancing inside the city, while a field commander said that
the main fighting is “near the security quarter in the center of the
town.”
Since May 31, the SDF has
been fighting Daesh in Manbij with the support of airstrikes from the
US-led coalition allegedly battling the extremists.
However,
the aerial assaults have claimed the lives of dozens of civilians
around Manbij in recent days, prompting the so-called Syrian National
Coalition opposition group to call for a suspension of the coalition air
raids.
The Manbij Military Council, allied to SDF, announced the ultimatum on Thursday in an effort to “protect civilian lives.”

SDF
troops prepare a rocket-launcher as they advance towards Daesh held
positions in Manbij, in northern , on June 23, 2016. (AFP)

At
the time, an unnamed SDF commander said that tribal leaders in Manbij
had proposed a 48-hour ultimatum last week, but the measure was put into
force on Thursday after Daesh “used residents as human shields” and
media pressure to protect civilians trapped in the city.
Meanwhile,
over a dozen civilians were killed or injured after US warplanes
launch fresh airstrikes in the al-Nawajah village east of Manbij.
The
fresh attack comes shortly after at least 140 civilians were killed in
French and US airstrikes in Manbij on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

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