The advance of Isis in Syria seems to have been stopped: yesterday, the jihadist militants fled the strategic fortress of Manbij, leaving it in the hands of a Kurdish-Arab coalition supported by the US. Besides, nearly 2,000 civilians, who had been taken hostage by the Caliphate, were released in the evening by the jihadists themselves, who used them as human shields to protect themselves from the bombings while retreating.
The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces have confirmed they have begun the final assault on the Sarb district in the north of Manbij, the last bastion still in the hands of Isis. Manbij, in situated on the main supply route from the Turkish border to Raqqa, the stronghold of the Islamic state in Syria. It took two and a half months to conquer the SDF, but also the invaluable support of the aerial bombardment of the international US-led Coalition.
According to Kurdish sources, the men of the Caliphate are retreating northwards, toward Jarablus. Shervan Derwish, a spokesman of the SDF, said the anti-Isis militants are making “every possible effort to snatch civilians from the hands of the few jihadists left there”. Derwish, the spokesman, also said the hostages have been set free.
As for the situation in Aleppo, despite the daily three-hour ceasefire announced by Russia, civilians continue to die: at least 18 people were killed in air raids that have targeted a town north of the metropolis where yet another hospital was struck. In the city, however, fights continue, in particular in the south and south-west (the Ramuseh area).