BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S.-backed forces fighting against Islamic State near the Syrian-Turkish border have reached the “last main road” into the city of Manbij, which is held by the jihadists, a spokesman said on Thursday.
“We have reached the road that links Manbij and Aleppo, from the west … (it is) the last main road to the city,” Sharfan Darwish, spokesman for the Syria Democratic Forces-allied Manbij Military Council, told Reuters.
He appeared to be referring to the highway between Manbij and Islamic State-held al-Bab, further west. That highway also leads onto Aleppo city.
The Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance which includes the powerful Kurdish YPG militia, has advanced to the outskirts of Manbij one week into a campaign aimed at driving Islamic State from territory along the Turkish border.
The SDF, which is also fighting against Islamic State in neighboring Raqqa province, is backed by U.S.-led air strikes and assisted by U.S. special forces.