US-backed militisa have taken control of 40 percent of Manbij after new advances against areas controlled by the Islamic State (ISIS) in the key Syrian city near the Turkish border.
Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), with the support of air strikes, have seized much of the eastern part of the besieged city after slower advances in the western sector of the city in recent weeks, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday.
SDF forces “have been increasingly besieging” and “encircling Manbij,” said Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Jamjoom, reporting from Turkey’s Gaziantep, adding that much of the city still remains under ISIS control.
“Even though there is a semblance of relief for those thousands of people who were able to leave those ISIS-dominated areas of the city, we must remember there are still thousands trapped inside areas that are still held by ISIL,” Jamjoom reported.
“And there are a lot of fears about what coalition airstrikes could bring with regards to civilian casualties in the days to come,” he said.
“[The] relief is very much contrasted by these concerns about the mounting civilian death toll from coalition airstrikes.”
The Observatory reported on Sunday that at least 2,300 civilians fled the city in a 24-hour period.
Last week, more than 150 civilians were killed in Manbij and surrounding areas by US-led caolition airstrikes.
The coalition admitted the incident and said that it was a “mistake.”
Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of mainly Kurdish fighters backed by the US, launched an offensive against ISIS to retake the city of Manbij in May. Kurdish militias aim at controlling Manbij to complete their control over northern Syria and pave the way to their autonomy goal.
They have besieged the town and are advancing to the city centre under the cover of air strikes by the US-led international coalition.
The Kurdish militias also used the US support to attack many arab villages, committ massacres there and force the citizens to flee.