first published on August 23, 2016 by Will
Newly released Western airstrike footage shows the brutal use of high explosive precision munitions used to exterminate ISIS in Manbij, Syria. SDF ground forces backed by these airstrikes were successful in clearing the city from Da’esh forces. The Kurdish-led SDF has now pushed north to the ISIS strongholds of Jerabulus and west to al Bab.
These follow on missions have now hit multiple figurative roadblocks that are sure to slow the advance. Now that a new active front in Hasakah has opened up between Kurdish forces and the Syrian government, the SDF will be sending YPG reinforcements to that fight, which will take away resources and fighters from the ISIS fight.
The al Bab fight will be one to watch with interest as Turkey is sending hordes of jihadist fighters toward the town in an effort to take it from ISIS before the Kurds can lay claim to it. Turkey is also bombing Kurdish positions in multiple locations across Syria.
While the outcomes of these ongoing battles are not yet know, it’s easy to see that the final phase of the ISIS/Syrian fight to purge and liberate the city of Raqqa, ISIS’ de facto capital of Syria, will ultimately be pushed back or put on hold for the time being.