The past 48 hours have proven costly for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) as mostly Kurdish troops continue to push forward on multiple fronts surrounding the Islamic State stronghold of Manbij in northeastern Aleppo.
Yesterday alone, 51 SDF fighters were killed in and around Manbij city with dozens more the previous day, according to Amaq News.
14 SDF fighters were killed by a ISIS suicide truck (VBIED) in the Sarrab poultry farms on the northern outskirts of Manbij while 18 SDF fighters were killed in the village of Khattaf, east of the city.
The rest of the casualties were reported at the Kilo 4 area and Manbij silos, south of the city.
According to Amaq News, a total of 157 SDF fighters have been killed this week alone.
Booby traps and ISIS suicide bombers are playing an instrumental role in preventing rapid SDF advances.
Meanwhile, snipers and airstrikes were said to have taken out “tens of ISIS fighters” in the past 48 hours, although no specific death toll was given.
The city has been fully besieged for more than two weeks while SDF fighter have slowly infiltrated ISIS positions in the past few days, following a major U.S. coalition air campaign on the city.
For now, approximately 20% of the city is controlled by the SDF while hundreds of ISIS fighters remain hidden inside the last 80%. Urban clashes are ongoing as we speak.
In other related events, the number of Kurdish civilians taken hostage by ISIS in recent weeks now exceeds 1000 in the Aleppo governorate. Their fate remains undetermined.