Fighting in ISIS’s largest and most important Aleppo stronghold, the Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) continue to make progress, capturing the Bahrat roundabout earlier in the week, the Al-Sabe roundabout and more recently and almost entirely the Shariat district in the western section of the city.
The SDF also took control of 2 Sharia schools in the Shariat district on Monday, where young boys were believed to have been trained in extreme beliefs and as potential Jihadist fighters.
Also in the Shariat area, the SDF destroyed a building used to make explosives. Separately, the SDF uncovered and destroyed an incomplete tunnel system that the IS militants used to move around Manbij’s neighborhoods.
Heavy fighting is now reported in the vicinity of the Della roundabout to the north-west of Manbij and the SDF are attacking the National Hospital from both the west and the east and may by now have taken it. In addition, Coalition aircraft have destroyed a number of east-west bridges in the city, impeding IS reinforcements.
15 x IS Jihadists were killed in clashes near the National Hospital on Wednesday and another 25 in the remaining part of Hazawani neighbourhood still held by IS.
2 journalists, Kendal Judi an ANHA reporter, and Mustafa Muhammad a Ronahi TV reporter were wounded Wednesday in a mine explosion as they tried to report on the liberation by the SDF of Saba’ Bahrat Square.
2 x IS truck bombs sent against SDF units fighting near the National Hospital were destroyed before impact.
By Tuesday this week in the south of Manbij, IS had been forced out of the southern end of the Al-Adiyat neighbourhood.
To the north of city clashes broke out again on Tuesday near Zangol, 3 kilometres north-west of Dadat, one IS fighter killed.
As well as the areas detailed above, the SDF are reported to have reached the Industrial Institute and Plantation Park, while heavy clashes are still reported around a cement facility to the south-east of Manbij.
US Central Command (Centcom) reports 11 airstrikes in Syria on Thursday and 7 in Iraq. The Syrian strikes hit 6 separate IS tactical units, destroyed 18 x IS fighting positions and damaged another IS-used bridge.
Another 1,300 civilians are reported to have safely left Manbij, but those reaching Afrin city are continuing to express concern for an estimated 1,200 people, mainly Kurds, who were arrested by IS and are still missing.