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U.S.-Backed Forces Advance In IS Syria Stronghold

Kurdish and Arab fighters backed by U.S.-led air strikes now control 40 percent of the extremist group Islamic State (IS)-held Syrian city of Manbij, a monitor has said.

The Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), supported by U.S. air strikes, took over the majority of the eastern part of the city, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The London-based monitor said that fighters took over a clinic, school, and a roundabout in the heart of the city following heavy fighting.

It is unclear if there were any casualties.

Around 2,300 civilians have fled Manbij in the last 24 hours but thousands still remain inside, slowing the forces' advance.

Manbij lies on a key supply route to IS's de facto capital of Raqqa.

Activists and residents say that dozens of civilians have been killed this month in air strikes.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters