Siege of IS bastion in north Syria traps thousands

Thousands of civilians were under siege Saturday in an Islamic State group stronghold surrounded by US-backed forces in northern Syria, as the jihadists claimed deadly attacks on a Damascus shrine. IS has fought back with deadly bombings despite being pressed on several fronts since it declared a “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq in 2014. The Syrian Democratic Forces alliance supported by US air strikes encircled the town of Manbij on Friday, cutting the group’s main supply line between Turkey and its de facto Syrian capital of Raqa.

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