Nine villages were seized from ISIS on Monday as the Kurdish-led ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) reopened the Manbij front and pushed southwards along the Euphrates River.
With ISIS struggling to hold ground in the region, Kurdish forward units took control over the villages of Jurunli, Mahunah, Haymar al-Jays, Judayat al-Faras, Turaykiyat al-Humr, Qibab Kabir, Qibab Saghir, Sakhanah and Arudah with relative ease just hours after the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) also advanced nearby, thus cutting off the frontline territory between ISIS and the Turkish Armed Forces.
A military source informed Al-Masdar News that the SDF and Manbij Military Council are keen to take control of Al-Khafsa – this town has been fortified by ISIS militants after reaching a frontline stalemate in August 2016 following the liberation of Manbij city.
Remarkably, there are credible reports which indicate cooperation between the SDF and SAA; the latter provided artillery support for the advancing Kurdish forces.
The Russian Air Force was also operational in eastern Aleppo tonight, pulverizing a number of Islamic State gun positions.
Earlier today, SDF reinforcements and US military advisors arrived to Manbij. These forces are now spearheading the offensive. A new batch of armored vehicles and technicals were also provided to the SDF.
Al-Khafsa is strategically important as it supplies the provincial capital of Aleppo with water; recently, this facility was shut down by ISIS while the latter flooded some government-held villages in the region.
With heavy clashes ongoing on the near perimeter of Al-Khafsa, the town is expected to fall either overnight or tomorrow.