ISIS loses crucial Syrian stronghold
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U.S.-backed forces captured the Syrian city Manbij from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) this week after two months of fighting and two years of the city’s residents living under the terror group’s reign.

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According to The Associated Press, Manbij fell late Friday, freeing hundreds of civilians, some of whom reportedly had been used as human shields by ISIS forces.

Pentagon spokesman Gordon Trowbridge on Friday praised the coalition known as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) for its efforts to retake the city.

“That … is a major setback for [ISIS] at the hands of our partners the SDF, including thousands of Syrian Arab troops that are fighting to liberate their own homes. It is also the latest significant milestone in the coalition's efforts to cut off and eliminate a hub of [ISIS] activity located outside Syria,” Trowbridge said as reports came in Friday of ISIS forces fleeing the city.

The AP reported that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the total number of people killed in the fighting at 1,756. That number includes 438 civilians, 299 coalition troops and 1,019 ISIS fighters.