02:04 GMT14 August 2020
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    The US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) made an agreement with the Daesh, letting some 200 of its fighters escape from the town of Manbij in exchange for them laying down weapons, US media reported.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The militants' convoy left the town after being guaranteed safe passage by the SDF, which had Daesh-held Manbij encircled since June, a senior US defense official told the USA Today newspaper on Tuesday.

    The militants left the city on Friday while being monitored by US drones, the same day when the US Department of Defense announced that the liberation of Manbij was in its final stages.

    The liberation of Manbij was announced by the Pentagon on Saturday, with militants alleged to have tried fleeing the city and mixing with civilians.

    On May 21, the SDF, backed by the US-led coalition, began an offensive to retake the northern Syrian town from the Daesh. The town was considered a key smuggling hub for the militants, who relied on Manbij to smuggle fighters and supplies, as well as sending terrorists out of Syria across the Turkish border.

    Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad fighting a number of opposition factions and extremist groups. The Daesh, which is outlawed in many countries, including the United States and Russia, took over swathes of the country in 2014. The US-led coalition has been conducting anti-Daesh airstrikes in Syria and Iraq since 2014. The SDF was formed in 2015 and includes the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).

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    Tags:
    US-led coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Daesh, Manbij, Syria
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