IS reported to have released hundreds of Syrian civilians who were being used as human shields

Footage has captured civilians' reactions after rebel fighters liberated the Syrian city of Manbij from Islamic State

IS reported to have released hundreds of Syrian civilians who were being used as human shields

Image: Google Maps

Islamic State has reportedly released hundreds of civilians who were being used as human shields by its fleeing fighters.

Some civilians were able to escape while others were released, according to the Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) and Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The jihadists are reported to have forced some 2,000 civilians into vehicles as they retreated. It is not clear if all those captured have been freed.

"While withdrawing from a district of Manbij, Daesh (IS) jihadists abducted around 2,000 civilians from Al-Sirb neighbourhood," Sharfan Darwish of the SDF allied Manbij Military Council said on Friday.

"They used these civilians as human shields as they withdrew to Jarabulus, thus preventing us from targeting them," he said, adding that women and children were among those taken.

Meanwhile, video footage and pictures have captured civilians' joy after rebel fighters liberated the Syrian city of Manbij from IS.

Men are seen cutting their beards and women setting fire to niqabs as they celebrate in the streets. 

Islamic State imposes strict restrictions on the way people dress and how men keep their facial hair - reportedly vigorously enforced by religious police.

Other freed residents of Manbij are seen smoking cigarettes. Civilians in IS-held cities have spoken of public floggings and fines for people caught smoking.

Weeping with joy, civilians hug fighters from the Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) after being evacuated from the final IS-held neighbourhood.

The US-backed Arab-Kurdish alliance confirmed on Friday that Manbij was now "fully" under their control, ending a months-long battle to reclaim the city.

The SDF captured Manbij last week, freeing thousands of captive civilians, but were battling the last remaining IS fighters holed up in the city in the days that followed.

Losing control of the city is a major blow to IS - foreign jihadists, as well as provisions, moved through the area from the Turkish border.

US officials said with Manbij under control, it paves the way for a move on Raqqa.