Syria

Intense US Airstrikes Hit Islamic State Stronghold Outside Aleppo

U.S.-led coalition military forces battling Islamic State militants in Syria have been concentrating their attacks on the city of Manbij, near Aleppo, officials said Friday, but reports from the battlefront say militants continue to occupy the city center.

The latest airstrikes in Aleppo governorate, the northern province that includes Manbij, have destroyed 19 Islamic State tactical units and 17 of the extremists’ fighting positions, the U.S. Central Command reported. The airstrikes also destroyed a heavy machine gun and two vehicles used by IS fighters.

VOA’s Kurdish service reports that fighting in the center of Manbij is continuing amid the airstrikes. An anti-IS militia is battling the militants in the city, street by street, as coalition forces tighten a circle around Islamic State’s stronghold in the city.

The Pentagon official said the military’s own internal reporting triggered investigation of the incident. He added: “We will continue to work hard every day to execute our mission, while doing our best to minimize the risk to innocent civilians, and to be transparent and accountable about those efforts.”

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