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Syrian opposition gains "critical foothold" in southern Manbij, says US military

WASHINGTON, June 30 (KUNA) -- The US backed Syrian opposition forces, "gained a critical foothold" in the southern portion of Manbij through "deliberate clearing operations" against the so- called Islamic State (IS), the US military said Thursday. The Syrian Arab Coalition (SAC) now "maintain control of the flow of vehicles and people to and from the city," the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) said in a statement.
IS has continued to "use civilians as human shields and is employing snipers, tunnels, and booby traps to slow the SAC advance," it said. SAC forces have responded by directing remaining civilians to nearby villages where food and water is provided, the statement affirmed. (end) ak.ajs