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Syrian troops take control of key Kurdish city as US troops drive away

SYRIAN government forces took control of the largely Kurdish city of Manbij today as footage emerged which showed US troops passing in the opposite direction as they left the area.

The Syrian flag was hoisted above the city as Russian troops joined their counterparts in the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took up positions together on the front line.

 

 

Syrian Arab Army fighters finally entered the city after US troops initially blocked them from entering both Manbij and Kobane on Monday despite an agreement reached with the autonomous administration.

But Rula, a spokesperson from Manbij Civil Council said that all US forces had left the city, with civil institutions operating as normal.

Two civilians were killed in clashes, with four children included among 13 wounded by the invading forces.

Local reporters in Kobane confirmed that the US had left the city via the Xirab Ishqe airstrip in the early hours of the morning.

Syrian government forces had not arrived at the time the Star went to press.

Attacks on villages to the east and west of Kobane were continuing, but Kurdish forces managed to repel an attempt by Turkish-backed jihadist groups to cross the Euphrates.

As many as 250,000 people are now believed to be internally displaced, according to sources on the ground.

Many were expected to cross into Iraqi Kurdistan, but the majority were still in northern Syria.

Ahmed Issa, a student in Heseke, said: “Regime helicopters were over the city last night. We have never heard [Turkish] warplanes.

“No regime [Syrian government] troops have passed into the city, they have only gone on from here to Til Temir.

“There are many refugees here from towns like Sere Kaniye and Til Temir which Turkey attacked. Most are living with relatives of theirs in Hasekeh, some in schools. Some families have two or three other families living with them, and are struggling for this reason.”

Tell Abyad was still under the control of Turkish forces and jihadist groups, but pockets of resistance were being reported.

Lawyers claimed today that three jihadist women had been “retrieved” by Isis. They were part of a group of around 800 that escaped from the Ayn Issa camp over the weekend.

UN human rights officials said today that Turkey could be be held responsible under international law for executions in Syria.

This includes the brutal rape, torture and killing of Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf of the Future Syria Party by jihadist mercenaries on Saturday.

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