US-backed forces surround the Isis-held city of Manbij, having liberated nearby villages
Elated women in Syria have removed their niqabs – the face-covering veil made compulsory by Isis – after their village was liberated from the jihadists.
The village, on the outskirts of the city of Manbij, Aleppo province, was liberated by US-backed Syria Democratic Forces on Friday after SDF soldiers seized control of the final road leading into the Isis-occupied city.
Isis has enforced strict rules including the requirement for women to wear all-black dresses.
A woman in a Niqab stands in her village after Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) took control of it on Friday (Rodi Said/Reuters)
The SDF has now completely surrounded Manbij, cutting off Isis’s route to the outside world, ahead of a planned assault to reclaim the city.
Manbij was first taken by Isis in 2014, and has been a strategic waypoint for the extremist group’s supply line between the Turkish border and their major stronghold in Raqqa.
Around 15,000 residents are believed to have fled the city since Isis’s occupation, but it is estimated some 5,000 people remain.
A woman removes her Niquab to reveal a floral dress and purple headscarf (Rodi Said/Reuters)
The SDF, a coalition built between Kurdish groups and Arab allies, has been supported by US-led air strikes.
Isis fighters remaining in Manbij have reportedly been burning tyres in a bid to obscure visibility and prevent air strikes.