BEIRUT, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 13th Augst,2016) - The Islamic State group has freed hundreds of civilians used by the militants as human shields while retreating in northern Syria, US-backed forces and a monitor said Saturday. A source from the Syrian Democratic Forces, which pushed IS out of the city of Manbij this week with the aid of US-led air strikes, told AFP that some of the civilians were able to escape while "others were freed".
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitor, said that several hundred of the civilians taken were no longer held by IS. The SDF, an Arab-Kurdish alliance, launched an assault in May on Manbij, on a key militant supply route between the Turkish border and IS's de facto Syrian capital Raqa. IS fighters seized around 2,000 civilians as they fled Manbij on Friday, using them as protection against air strikes en route to the jihadist-held town of Jarabulus, on the Turkish-Syrian border.