Up to 10 militants fighting for Islamic State (Isis) have been captured attempting to flee the besieged Syrian city of Manbij in drag, it is being reported in Middle Eastern media. Manbij is surrounded by US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which mostly consists of Kurds, who reportedly gave Isis (Daesh) forces 48 hours to flee the city.
The interview, posted on 21 July on YouTube, has not been independently verified but was reported by Middle East Eye. Three men dressed in full black Burqas slouch on the ground as SDF soldiers with guns question them. According to the subtitles alongside the video, one says: "We were in charge of security for Manbij, in the security area. We decided to flee and had a chance to do so with the civilians."
Another man says: "My name is Abu Hambal el-Ansari. We were guarding a building. The emirs [IS chiefs] were all hiding inside. They were ordering us to continue fighting. Finally, we mixed with the civilians and walked with them, but the Democratic Forces caught us."
At the end of the video the men are shown stripping to their underpants. Their fate is unknown.
IS executes anyone suspected of trying to run away from fighting. In May 2016 it was reported that the terror group buried alive 35-45 militants for downing weapons and trying to flee fighting near Kirkuk in Iraq.
According to Russia Today, IS was given 48 hours to leave Manbij but many chose to remain, using civilians as human shields. On 19 July at least 85 civilians, many of them children, were killed in US air strikes in the nearby town of Tokhar.
Coalition spokesman Colonel Chris Garver said IS had used civilians as human shields and bait, admitting "there may have been civilians in the area who are mixed in and among the Daesh fighters."