This frame grab from video provided Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017 by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows firing on militants' positions on the Iraq-Syria border. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said that Islamic State militants have withdrawn from their last stronghold following a government offensive and that government forces and allied troops, including Iraqi fighters are combing Boukamal, a strategic town on the border with Iraq, Thursday. (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

After IS collapse, Syria government faces US-backed Kurds

November 10, 2017 - 12:39 am

BEIRUT (AP) — With the fall of the Islamic State group's last stronghold in Syria, Iranian and Russian-backed Syrian troops now turn to face off with rival U.S.-backed forces holding large oil fields and strategic territory in the country's north and east.

This puts U.S. and Iranian forces at close proximity, across the Euphrates from each other, amid multiple hotspots that could turn violent, particularly in the absence of a clear American policy.

Iran has threatened that Syrian troops will advance toward Raqqa, IS' former capital, which fell to the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in October, raising the potential for a clash there.

The Kurdish-led SDF also controls some of Syria's largest oil fields, in the oil-rich eastern Deir el-Zour province, an essential resource the Syrian government also says it will take back.

AP Editorial Categories: 
Comments ()