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Hullabaloo


Sunday, August 14, 2016

 

And in non-Trump news...

by Tom Sullivan


Screen cap via Kurdistan24.

The GOP's idiot vivant lied about something somewhere. This morning, Ross Douthat can have him.

Good news from Syria. US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) pushed ISIS out of the northern town of Manbij after a 73-day campaign. The town declared liberated on Friday was on an important ISIS supply route between the Turkish border and its stronghold of Raqqa. Reuters reports that Washington, which has lacked effective proxies in the fighting "has found its first strong allies in SDF."

From the Independent:

Ecstatic Syrian civilians have been shaving off their beards, burning their burqas, smoking and dancing in the streets after being freed from Isis.

The jubilant celebrations were seen in the Syrian city of Manbij on Friday, where militants have been driven out after months of fighting by US-backed rebel groups.

Families ran through rubble-strewn streets, past the ruins of buildings destroyed in air strikes, carrying their babies and belongings.

Men jubilantly had their beards cut off as women ripped off their veils and set them on fire in an act of rebellion after years living under Isis' brutal interpretation of Sharia law.
Reuters has video and photo spreads here and here.

Civilians used as human shields by retreating ISIS fighters

The Guardian reported on Friday:
“While withdrawing from a district of Manbij, Daesh [Isis] jihadis abducted around 2,000 civilians from al-Sirb neighbourhood,” said Darwish. “They used these civilians as human shields as they withdrew to Jarabulus, thus preventing us from targeting them.”

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which relies on sources inside Syria to cover the war, gave a similar report, saying Isis forced about 2,000 civilians into cars it confiscated and headed for Jarabulus.

The jihadis, who have suffered a string of recent losses in Syria and Iraq, have often staged mass kidnappings in the two countries when they come under pressure to relinquish territory.
Al Jazeera reports that the civilians were freed on Saturday:
One of the key reasons for the success of the ground forces fighting ISIL in Manbij was the US-led coalition's air support.

In confirming the capture of Manbij, US military officials said that during the operation the coalition launched 680 air strikes destroying more than 680 ISIL fighting positions and 150 ISIL vehicles and heavy weapons.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a monitoring group that records daily developments in Syria, said the fighting in Manbij claimed more than 1,700 lives, including more than 400 civilians.
The Sunday Telegraph profiles "a 29-year-old former currency trader from Oxfordshire" who traveled to Syria to fight other countrymen who had taken up arms for ISIS "to brutalise and terrorise the innocent people here." Sometimes it is good to be reminded that Donald Trump and the United States are not the center of the universe.