News War On Terror

Wednesday 18 October 2017

'Defeated' Isil captures 900 civilians in Aleppo

A fighter from the Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) stands with his weapon at the western entrance to Manbij city, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria. REUTERS/Rodi Said
A fighter from the Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) stands with his weapon at the western entrance to Manbij city, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria. REUTERS/Rodi Said

Josie Ensor in Beirut

Isil fighters are reported to have abducted more than 900 Kurdish civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo, in retaliation for an offensive on their nearby stronghold of Manbij.

Jihadists stormed homes in the Arab, Qabaseen and Nairabiyeh neighbourhoods, taking mostly men but also a number of women and children over the last three weeks, according to Kurdish officials.

"Whenever Daesh [Isil] is defeated, they retaliate against civilians," said Sherfan Darwish, spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), adding that there are whole families among those abducted. Some of those taken captive have been forced to dig trenches in Isil-held areas while others are imprisoned in a detention centre

The US-backed SDF, a coalition of the powerful Kurdish YPG militia and Arab rebel groups, is closing in on the strategic northern city of Manbij, once a key link on Isil's supply route between the Turkish border 25 miles away and its de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa.

Backed by coalition air strikes, the SDF has made major gains this week - recapturing much of the outskirts of the city and surrounding the remaining militants from all sides.

Isil had already incurred huge losses in Manbij, with at least 458 jihadists killed since May 31. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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