According to ASHARQ AL-AWSAT newspaper, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) succeeded in entering the city of Manbij, ISIL stronghold, yesterday for the first time. This came a week after the city was surrounded, ISIL supply routes were cut off and a large bulk of its rural areas were seized. The forces, which are mainly made up of Kurdish and Arab fighters, managed to penetrate the city from the west and seize the Kuttab roundabout with unprecedented international military support.
This support included air strikes and joint leadership of battles on the ground by US and French special forces and German advisers.
Sources on the ground told Asharq Al-Awsat that after the operation to capture the city from the northern part of it failed, the forces entered through the western side. The sources added that “the difficult and complex military operation waged by the Syrian Democratic Forces may last for a month and a half, especially as ISIL is deliberately booby-trapping homes and digging trenches and tunnels. This means that overcoming these obstacles will require lots of time and effort.”
The sources also mentioned that “all eyes are currently on the area in which there are hiding places. When they fall, capturing the city as a whole will become easier”.