Following a string of advances this week, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are now rolling through village after village in the Manbij plains, an area on the western bank of the Euphrates river otherwise held by ISIS for years.
At least 10 more villages have been seized in the past 24 hours; most notably Kabir al-Kabir which is located just 5 kilometers south of Manbij city.
Furthermore, the village of Dadat has been captured after the emergence of a SDF salient north of Manbij – In turn, the main ISIS road between Jarabulus and Manbij has rather symbolically been cut off.
The SDF – a largely Kurdish fighting force heavily backed by the United States – has vowed to liberate Manbij city from the Islamic State.
Meanwhile, reports suggest the Islamic State to be pulling fighters out of the Azaz frontline in a frantic effort to keep control of Manbij city and reinforce the frontline.
If the SDF captures Manbij, the Islamic State will be on the verge of losing its supply lines running from Turkey, a country formerly accused of buying ISIS oil.