As SouthFront reported on August 13, the “final liberation” of Manbij was the result of an agreement between the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the ISIS terrorist group. Now, the information is officially confirmed by Pentagon.
Manbij was a key logistical hub and major stronghold of the ISIS terrorist group. US-led coalition forces spent almost three months conducting air strikes and storming it.
US Army Col. Carver, a spokesman for the US-led coalition fighters, told reporters that the SDF gave ‘several hundred’ vehicles containing 100 to 200 ISIS fighters a free passage out of the Syrian city of Manbij. According to Col. Carver, the decision was made by commanders of the SDF and pursued the goal to avoid casualties, adding ISIS had civilians in each of the vehicles. He noted that some civilians were likely hostages, but didn’t denied that civilians could been in the cars voluntarily.
“They kept throwing civilians to basically walk into the line of fire, trying to get them shot to use that potentially as propaganda, we think,” said Col. Chris Garver.
The pentagon official added that terrorists surrendered their weapons before they were given a free passage. The ISIS terrorists left Manbij on August 12 under watch of coalition drones to ensure they didn’t regroup and try to return to the city.
Col. Carver emphasized that it was the first such agreement with ISIS.
This nice story provided by Pentagon raises few questions:
- Do guys in Pentagon really believe that somebody is ready to accept the version with ISIS fighters that laid down arms in the center of Manbij (where the last clashes were ongoing) and then were given safe passage by the SDF after 3 month of heavy clashes and air strikes in the city? After hundreeds of SDF fighters that lost their lifes in this operation the group’s commanders just opened a free passage for “unarmed” ISIS militants?
- Did 3 month of airstrikes on the residential areas of Manbij pursued the goal to avoid “civilian casualties”? Why “civilian casualties” stopped the coalition on August 12?
- “Some” civilians in ISIS vehicles were “likely” hostages. How did “unarmed” ISIS fighters hold them?
- If ISIS militants surrendered their weapons, why did Pentagon expect that they could regroup and return to the city?
The only logical answer to these questions is that the 100 to 200 ISIS fighters that leaved Manbij were fully armed. They did not surrender their weapons to the SDF and they didn’t intend to do this. Unfortunately, it was very bad for the US and the SDF public image. This is why Col. Carver decided to “improve” the real story.