By Esra Kaymak Avci
WASHINGTON (AA) - Eight of nine airstrikes by the U.S-led coalition in northern Syria hit separate Daesh targets near Manbij, U.S. Central Command said Friday.
"Near Manbij, eight strikes struck eight separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed 11 ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL vehicle," according to a CENTCOM statement referring to airstrikes Thursday.
Manbij is a 98-kilometers strip in Syria along the Turkish border. Since the offensive to liberate Manbij, the coalition has supported local forces with more than 105 airstrikes.
The Syrian Arab Coalition is leading the operation and will be responsible for securing Manbij once it is freed.
Syrian Arabs are supported by Syrian Democratic Forces, predominantly comprised of the the YPG, the military wing of the terrorist PYD group.
As Turkey has long expressed its concerns about the PYD and its link to the PKK terrorists, Washington has assured Ankara that PYD and YPG elements will not be in Manbij after it is freed from Daesh, according to the Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Thursday's ninth attack was conducted near Abu Kamal, where a strike destroyed a Daesh oil pump jack.
In Iraq, the coalition, in support of local Iraqi forces, conducted 10 airstrikes.