It took more than two months for the Kurdish and Arab fighters of the SDF to win the battle for Manbij, with heavy support from the US-led coalition.
“We have cleared Manbij of the mercenaries of Daesh and now we are clearing away the mines planted in the houses and streets so that people can come back,” said SDF fighter Abdul Rahman Jomaa Al-Salem.
Some of the hostages Daesh took when fleeing Manbij have now been released.
The loss of the city, occupied by Daesh since early 2014, is a big blow to the militants as it is of strategic importance, serving as a conduit for the transit of foreign jihadists and provisions from the Turkish border.
But elsewhere in Syria the horror of war continues, notably in Aleppo and also in rebel-held Idlib province with reports from recent days that Russian and Syrian regime air strikes have left many civilians dead.