Freed Syrians recount horrors of Islamic State in Manbij

The people of Manbij, near the Turkish border with Syria, appear jubilant in video released one day after Syria Democratic Forces ousted Islamic State forces from the city.

The people of Manbij, near the Turkish border with Syria were jubilant on Saturday (August 13) a day after Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) ousted Islamic State forces from the city.

Sharfan Darwish of the SDF allied Manbij Military Council told Reuters they had freed over 2,000 civilian hostages who had been held by the militants.

Some locals recounted the horrors of IS rule, showing journalists areas dedicated to corporal punishment. One unidentified man can be seen pointing to an area referred to as the ‘Ship Circle’ reserved for executions.

In the footage, women can be seen dazed and confused but most of all ecstatic at being released.

On Friday (August 12) a young unidentified man spotted celebrating in the streets talked of losing his hand for a crime Islamic State insisted he had committed.

“I feel happiness and thanks be to God,” he said.

The SDF, with heavy air support from a U.S.-led coalition, said last week they had taken almost complete control of Manbij, where a small number of IS fighters had been holed up.

U.S. officials who backed the initiative have said once the Manbij operation is completed, it would create the conditions to move on the militant group’s de facto capital of Raqqa. U.S. officials anticipate a tough battle.

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