Seventh anniversary of the launch of campaign to liberate Manbij

The military campaign to liberate Manbij was launched on June 1, 2016. Many Syrians and other peoples across the world, especially the fighters and residents, still remember the moment the city was liberated.

The military campaign to liberate Manbij was launched on June 1, 2016 on the Qerekozaq and Tishrin Dam fronts. The campaign supported by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the People's Defence Units (YPG) and the Women's Defence Units (YPJ) was the first comprehensive step taken against ISIS in North and East Syria.

Inhabited by Kurdish, Arab, Circassian and Turkmen communities, Manbij was of great importance for ISIS as it was the capital of foreign mercenaries where logistics and material aid delivered from Turkey were received.

Many Syrians and other peoples across the world, especially the city's fighters and residents, still remember the moment the city was liberated. Today (Jun 1), as we approach the 7th anniversary of the liberation of the city on 15 August, 2014, the fighters who remember that moment once again acknowledge the fact that the sacrifices of martyrs paved the way for success.

Speaking to ANHA, Jawad Al Umeyri, a Manbij Military Council fighter who participated in the operation, said: “We had been waiting for the start of the liberation campaign for Manbij around the Tishrin Dam for 6 months. Following the call of the city residents, our forces under the command of Faisal Abu Layla overthrew and defeated the ISIS group.”

Al Umeyri continued: “The operation started at several fronts from the Tishrin dam. We were stationed on the fronts in Halule, Ebu Qelqel and the villages north of the dam. On the 5th day, we reached the village of Xefiye Ebu Qelqel. Our comrades were surrounded by ISIS mercenaries. Martyr Faisal Abu Leyla rushed to save them and was injured while on the way, which finally led to his death.”

Al Umeyri said: “The martyrdom of Commander Faisal Abu Layla, who was leading the Manbij liberation campaign, saddened us, but it did not give way to despair. His death even increased our determination to follow in the footsteps of our martyrs.”

Al Umeyri stated that after the campaign to liberate Manbij was named after Faisal Abu Leyla, the operation lasted two more months. “We went through hard times. We did not sleep for days. However, when we saw the warm welcome of our residents, we forgot the difficulties and continued our struggle in high spirits.”

Emphasizing that security in Manbij was achieved thanks to the sacrifices of the people of North and East Syria, Al Umeyri said: “We will continue to make sacrifices until all the occupied Syrian lands are liberated and our goals are achieved.”

Erad Manbij, another fighter of the Manbij Military Council, stated that the day when the operation to liberate the city was launched was historic and that the resistance put up at the time was still remembered today by the people of Manbij. He added: “It is the day of commemorating our fallen comrades and commander Faisal Abu Layla.”

Manbij pointed out that the battle and liberation of the city were not easy tasks. He continued: “Comrades fought ISIS in a brave way. Victory was achieved thanks to the fortitude of the Council and SDF fighters, the cooperation of city residents and military intelligence.”

Manbij concluded: “There are still occupied areas that need to be liberated. The most urgent thing for us is to liberate those areas. We will continue our resistance until the Syrians are liberated from    occupation and their freedom is secured.”