US-backed Syrian forces capture Minbij from Islamic State: watchdog

US-backed Syrian forces have captured the city of Minbij in northern Syria from the Islamic State extremist militia, a monitoring group reported on Saturday.

The Kurdish-led Democratic Forces of Syria (DFS) have taken almost full control of Minbij more than two months after they started a major offensive to drive Islamic State from the city near the Turkish border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“The DFS forces are now combing the centre and northern section of Minbij, hunting for hidden elements of the Islamic State organization,” the Observatory’s head, Rami Abdel-Rahman, told dpa.

Capturing the city and its hinterland would cut Islamic State off from its last access route to the border and the outside world.

The fall of Minbij is likely to have a major impact on Islamic State's ability to bring supplies and fighters to its de facto Syrian capital of al-Raqqa and its remaining territories in Syria and Iraq.

The al-Qaeda splinter group seized Minbij in 2014.

Last update: Sat, 06/08/2016 - 10:47

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