US-backed forces advance in IS Syria stronghold: monitor

US-backed Kurdish and Arab fighters advance into the Islamic State (IS) jihadist's group bastion of Manbij, in northern Syria, on June 23, 2016Advancing Kurdish and Arab fighters backed by US-led air strikes now control 40 percent of the Islamic State stronghold of Manbij in northern Syria, a monitor said Sunday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) had pushed deeper into the town near the border with Turkey, with air cover from the US-led coalition against the jihadists. Around 2,300 civilians have fled Manbij in the past 24 hours as the SDF fighters advanced, according to the Britain-based monitor.

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