August 29, 2016 / 12:51 PM / 3 years ago

SDF-backed fighters in Jarablus say retreating south as Turkey pushes into Syria

File photo of Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters inspecting a centre that was used by Islamic State religious police (al-Hisbah) in Manbij, Aleppo Governorate, Syria, August 16, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Fighters supported by the U.S.-backed anti-Islamic State Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance said on Monday they would withdraw south after a Turkish push into Syria from the town of Jarablus which Turkey captured last week from Islamic State.

“We, the Military council of Jarablus and its countryside, announce the withdrawal of our forces to the line south of the Sajour River to preserve the lives of civilians and so that no pretext remains for continued strikes on villages and civilians,” an online statement from the military council said.

Turkey has taken a string of villages south of Jarablus in the past few days after fighting SDF-aligned forces.

Reporting by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Louise Ireland

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