Fighters of the Syria Democratic Forces take an overwatch position as their fellow fighters advance in the southern rural area of Manbij, in Aleppo Governorate, Syria May 31, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said
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US-backed fighters advanced Sunday to within five kilometers (three miles) of the ISIS group's stronghold of Manbij in northern Syria, threatening a crucial supply link for the extremists.The assault on the city by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) adds to pressure on the extremist group in Syria, which also faces another offensive by Russian-backed regime troops in its bastion province of Raqqa. Some 3,000 Arab fighters were taking part, backed by around 500 Kurdish militia members, he said, adding that US special forces were working "at the command and control level" in the operation.In the village of Halula 27 kilometers (16 miles) east of Manbij, an AFP correspondent saw several US soldiers in jeeps as they assisted SDF fighters.Thirty extremists were also killed, it said, along with 12 SDF fighters.On Saturday, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad pushed into ISIS's bastion province of Raqqa in northern Syria.
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