The Islamic State group launched a counter-attack against fighters trying to capture the Syrian city of Manbij on Monday, inflicting heavy casualties on the US-backed forces, the Syrian Observatory fo
The Islamic State group launched a counter-attack against fighters trying to capture the Syrian city of Manbij on Monday, inflicting heavy casualties on the US-backed forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the militants said.
The monitor said the militants won back three villages south of the besieged city in a surprise assault against fighters from the US-backed Syria Democratic Forces. At least 28 SDF fighters were killed.
Two years after IS proclaimed its caliphate to rule over all Muslims from swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, its many foes are advancing on a number of fronts in both countries.
Their aim is to close in on its two capitals, Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.
The SDF were poised to enter Manbij nearly three weeks after the launch of a major assault to regain the city backed by US air power and American special forces, to seal off the last stretch of the Syrian-Turkish frontier
The alliance, formed last year by recruiting Arabs to join forces with a powerful Kurdish militia, fought to nearly 2 km from the city center from the western side on Saturday before retreating.
US-led coalition jets hit militants taking cover near a large wheat silo complex on the southern edge of the city that has been encircled by SDF forces.
An SDF spokesman said forces succeeded in repulsing the militant attack and remained positioned on the outskirts of the city, most of whose residents remain trapped inside due to mines planted by the militants, who have dug in to defend it.
“The situation is under control. They have many bodies on the ground,” Sharfan Darwish, spokesman for the Syria Democratic Forces-allied Manbij Military Council, said.