Deadly clashes rock Syria's Manbij

Deadly clashes rock Syria's Manbij
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BEIRUT (APP) - Islamic State group militants clashed Saturday with US-backed fighters in Syria 's Manbij as a 48-hour deadline loomed for the militants to leave the battleground town, a monitor said.

The ultimatum was issued Thursday by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance that is fighting IS with support from a US-led coalition.

The ultimatum came after the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitor, said that at least 56 civilians, including children, were killed on Tuesday in coalition air strikes near Manbij .

Coalition spokesman Colonel Chris Garver said on Friday that IS had "used civilians as human shields and as bait" in order to draw the fire of the SDF towards civilians.

Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said there were sporadic clashes inside Manbij and raids by the US-led coalition on the town as the deadline approached for IS to leave.

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