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Iran Press TV

Thousands flood back to Syria's Manbij with Daesh kicked out

Iran Press TV

Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:23PM

The citizens of Manbij are flooding back to the northern Syrian town one day after it was wrestled from the grip of Daesh by the Kurdish-Arab alliance, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF),

"Thousands are coming back and shops are opening. Today is the first day life is returning to normal," said spokesman for the SDF-allied Manbij Military Council Sharfan Darwish on Saturday.

According to the alliance, the cars and vehicles of hundreds of displaced citizens could be seen during the day entering the city from make shift camps and villages surrounding it.

The US-backed SDF noted that it is currently engaged in restoring the city's severely damaged infrastructure.

On Friday, the SDF announced that they had launched a final assault to flush the remaining Daesh militants out of Manbij, located 446 kilometers (277 miles) north of the capital Damascus.

The SDF also says the Takfiris abducted some 2,000 civilians as they were leaving the town, but according to Reuters, the civilians were not abducted and were actually the terrorists' family members.

Following Daesh removal from the city, residents began to celebrate the new freedoms, and poured into the streets.

"You are our children, you are our heroes, you are the blood of our hearts, you are our eyes. Go out, Daesh," said one woman thanking her liberators.

Manbij lies along the only supply line of Daesh between the Syrian-Turkish border to the north and the group's main Syria stronghold of Raqqah, which lies to the southeast.

"I feel joy and [it is like a] dream I am dreaming. I cannot believe it, I cannot believe it. Things I saw no one saw," said another woman after the city was freed.

Its liberation marks the biggest strategic defeat for Daesh in Syria since July 2015, when the terrorist group lost the strategically important town of Tal Abyad on Syria's border with Turkey.

The SDF fighters launched an operation to retake Manbij two months ago. The city was under Daesh control for more than two years.

Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura estimates that over 400,000 people have been killed in the conflict. Back in 2014, the UN said it would no more update its official death toll for Syria because it could not verify the figures that it received from various sources.



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