Manbij entirely liberated from ISIS

The city of Manbij has been entirely liberated from ISIS on the 73rd day of the Operation Martyr Commander Faysal Abu Leyla launched by Manbij Military Council.

The city of Manbij has been entirely liberated from ISIS on the 73rd day of the Operation Martyr Commander Faysal Abu Leyla launched by Manbij Military Council.

The operation was launched by Manbij Military Council fighters back on June 1 upon the demand of locals for the liberation of their land from inhumane ISIS gangs that held the city under occupation since 2014.

The operation began in four separate groups from Tishreen and Qaraqozax areas, and was later renamed as Operation Martyr Commander Faysal Abu Leyla after his fall during the battle on its fifth day.

In the first phase of the operation, fighters of the Council advanced by liberating villages, hamlets and rural areas, while the second phase was the liberation of the besieged city center amid violent clashes.

Manbij Military Council fighters laid a siege on the city from four sides and they evacuated civilians on one hand and cleansed the city of ISIS groups on the other, as they made further advances.

ISIS groups were encircled in a very narrow area in Al-Sirib neighborhood after the liberationof the Security Crossroad. With the most recent clearance of the mentioned area of ISIS gangs, the city went under full control of fighters following in the footsteps of Abu Leyla.

Those fighters advancing from the northern and southern sides of the city liberated more than 200 villages and hamlets in a short time, and laid an entire siege on the city after uniting with other units of fighters to the north of the Arima town located on Manbij-Bab road.

During the course of the operation, more tha two thousand ISIS members were killed and corpses of 700 of these were seized by Manbij fighters.

Manbij Military Council combatants later de-escalated the operation in a controlled manner for the safety of civilians whom ISIS gangs used to use as shields after the all-out siege laid on them. Professional units later enabled the evacuation of civilians.

Since the beginning of the operation, more than 170 thousand civilians have been rescued from ISIS, and the basic needs of these, especially of those transferred to Abu Qelqel town, were met by Manbij Military Council fighters.

ISIS groups attempted dozens of attacks to break the siege but all were confronted and repelled by Manbij fighters. During the offensive for the liberation of villages -the first phase of the operation- Manbij fighters frustrated 20 car bomb attacks. On the other hand, Manbij fighters seized 4 warehouses of the gangs and 3 shops where they produced mines.

During the one month long first phase of the operation, an area of 1200 square kilometers, extending from Qaraqozax Bridge to Bab city border, was liberated.

During the second phase that began in late June, ISIS gangs lost the entire countryside and started to make efforts to stop the advance of Manbij fighters by planting mines in numerous houses, shops, apartments, roads, streets, squares and strategic locations. The gangs furthermore held captive tens of thousands of civilians in city center, and used them as human shields.

The captivity of civilians slowed down the advance of Manbij Military Council, for which reasons professional units started to conduct spot operations and open corridors to rescue the civilians in the city.

The professional unit, formed with the coordination of 15 fighters, cleared the mines on the routes to be used by civilians and neutralized the snipers of the gangs before evacuating the civilians to safe areas through these corridors. More than 170 thousand people in the city center were transferred to safe areas through this route.

During the 73 days of the military campaign, more than two thousand ISIS members were killed and corpses of over 700 were seized by Manbij fighters. According to information provided by Manbij Military Council sources, more than three thousand mines and improvised explosives were neutralized.

280 fighters of the Manbij Council are guessed to have lost their lives during the operation. The Council is expected to release an official statement providing exact details.

US-led coalition aircraft supported the Manbij fighters by hitting many ISIS targets during both phases of the operation – first one being the liberation of villages and hamlets of Manbij and the other being the liberation of the city center.

The freedom march which has left 73 days behind has reached victory after the most recent violent clashes in Al-Sirrib neighborhood. Mine clearance and search-sweep efforts in the city continue