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SDF Hands Liberated Manbij to Local Council & Withdraws from City

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As reported, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have handed liberated Manbij to the Manbij Military Council (MMC) and left the city.

SDF Hands Liberated Manbij to Local Council & Withdraws from City

Photo: AFP 2016 / Delil Souleiman

On Friday, the Manbij Military Council (MMC) announced that the campaign for liberation the countryside of the city of Manbij is currently ongoing, while all military points of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were handed to the council.

Reportedly, the statement was made after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Ankara expects that the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YGP) that is the leading force of the SDF will withdraw from Manbij.

According to the Council, the SDF help allowed to liberate many villages in the countryside of Manbij, while the SDF defensive lines in the north frontlines from the countryside to the Euphrates River were reinforced by the forces.

“We as the MMC declare to the public opinion that the SDF after they took out Daesh [ISIS] from Manbij and their heroic support to us, they have handed all military points in the city to the Manbij Military Council,” the ARA press agency quoted the words of the council. “We in the MMC thank the SDF for all their efforts and sacrifice to serve our people in Manbij and all of Syria.”

“As we understood the plan with our partners that the YPG would indeed go to the eastern side of the Euphrates River when the battle was over. The battle’s not over yet. They’ve still got work that they’re doing in their clearing,” ARA quoted the words of US-led coalition spokesman, Colonel Christopher Garver. “They are now clearing through areas of the city through which Daesh retreated, looking for small pockets of Daesh fighters. Their stated aim is to make the city safe for civilians to return,” he said on Tuesday.

“This clearance is slow, difficult and dangerous because Daesh left behind a significant number of IEDs as they retreated, as we have seen them do many times when they retreat,” Garver added. “This work will take time. Outside the city, the SDF are reinforcing their positions in the immediate vicinity of the city to protect against Daesh local counterattacks.”

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