WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.-backed rebels fighting Islamic State militants in Syria captured a headquarters operation as they pushed into the western part of the town of Manbij over the weekend, the U.S. military said in a statement on Tuesday.
The Islamic State headquarters, which was located in a hospital, was being used as a command center and logistics hub. The U.S.-backed Syrian rebels also took control of part of the town, enabling civilians in the area to flee the fighting, the statement said.
The Syrian rebels were continuing to battle Islamic State on four fronts for control of Manbij, clearing territory as they pushed toward the center of the city, the statement said.
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Islamic State militants have staged counterattacks, but the Syrian rebels have maintained momentum with the help of air strikes by the U.S.-led coalition, the statement said. It said the coalition has carried out more than 450 air strikes around Manbij since the operation to take the town began.
(Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Eric Walsh)