US-backed fighters edged further into the Daesh group stronghold of Manbij on Saturday, threatening a key staging post on the terrorists’ lifeline from Turkey to their “caliphate” in Syria and neighboring Iraq.
If it succeeds, the offensive on Manbij — backed by intense airstrikes by a US-led coalition — would mark the most significant victory against Daesh for the Syrian Democratic Forces alliance.
In neighboring Iraq, elite counter-terrorist forces and police were poised to assault the last Daesh-held neighborhood of the terrorists’ once emblematic bastion of Fallujah in a further blow to their prestige.
In Manbij, SDF fighters overran a key road junction in the south of the city after capturing nearby grain silos overnight, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
“The grain silos overlook more than half of Manbij. SDF fighters can climb to the top and monitor the city,” Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said.
The Raqqa Revolutionaries Brigades — one of the Arab components of the Kurdish-dominated alliance — confirmed that SDF forces had seized the silos and pushed into the city. The Mills Roundabout lies less than two kilometers from the city center.
On Saturday, Russian and Syrian jets pounded rebel-held areas in and around the city in support of a regime offensive on the rebels’ sole remaining supply route.
Source: Arab News