Manbij Men, Women Celebrates Freedom With Shaved, Unveiled Faces

The operation to liberate Manbij - which had been under Islamic State control for almost two years - began in May.

The retreat from the city which IS captured in 2014 marked the militants' worst defeat yet at the hands of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an Arab-Kurdish alliance supported by U.S. air power.

"Jubilation broke out in many neighbourhoods after IS terrorists lost control of Manbij to US-backed rebels and the centre of the city was liberated", CNN quoted the Pentagon as saying.

In this photo released on Monday, Aug. 8, 2016 by Hawar news, the news agency for the semi-autonomous Kurdish areas in Syria (ANHA), shows the Kurdish-led Syria Democratic Forces raise their flag in the center of the town of Manbij after driving Islamic State militants out of the area, in Aleppo province, Syria. Darwish also added that women and children were among the abducted, and that they used the captured as human shields while withdrawing towards Jarabulus. Mass kidnappings, using civilians as human shields, booby trapping cars, and suicide bombings are common ways for ISIS to slow down the advancement of their opponents. After the liberation of Manbij, Islamic State members will not be allowed to travel freely to and from Europe anymore, according to Syrian Kurdish leader Salih Muslim.

Darwish attributed the speedy return to life in the city to a military and aerial campaign that he said spared many neighborhoods where thousands of civilians had remained even at the height of fighting.

Manbij is on a supply route between the Turkish capital and the de facto Islamic State capital of Raqqa and had been the scene of heavy fighting for the past two months. She had been trapped in her basement for a week with her two daughters and father after the Islamic State threatened to kill anyone who tried to escape the city.

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