Moscow: Photos of US Special Ops working ISIS

Frederick Owens
September 25, 2017

Al-Ahd added that the long distance between the Russia-run Humeimim airbase and Eastern or Central Syria and the superior capabilities and features of Deir Ezzur airbase are two other reasons for Moscow's decision.

He pointed to "the liberation of Aleppo and Palmyra", the end to the siege of Deir el-Zour by the Islamic State extremist group, "and the eradication of terrorism from many parts of Syria" by the Syrian army and its supporters and allies, including Russian Federation and Iran.

Russian airstrikes have backed Syrian government forces advancing on Deir ez-Zor from the west, while SDF, backed by US -led coalition airstrikes, has been moving in from east of the Euphrates River.

Moscow warned the U.S. on Thursday that if US-backed groups in Northeast Syria again attack the positions of the Syrian pro-government forces backed by Russia, the Russian military would use all its force to retaliate.

On Thursday, Russia warned against targeting its special forces in Deir el-Zour raising concerns over direct clashes between rival forces backed by Moscow and Washington fighting for the region.

"SDF militants work to the same objectives as IS terrorists".

A rebel fighter walks past damaged buildings in a rebel-held part of the southern city of Deraa Syria
A rebel fighter walks past damaged buildings in a rebel-held part of the southern city of Deraa Syria

Russian Federation said on Thursday that if US-backed forces like the SDF threatened Syrian government troops, it would not hesitate to target them. While both oppose Islamic State (IS), they are engaged, via proxies, in a race for strategic influence and potential resources in the form of oilfields in eastern Syria's Deir al-Zor province.

ISIS has controlled the Conoco gas field since 2014.

Syrian troops supported by Iranian-backed militias have also crossed to the eastern side of the river, increasing their presence in an area where US -backed militias have also advanced. "Russian drones and intelligence have not recorded any confrontations between IS and the 'third force, ' the SDF", Konashenkov said.

The Ibaa News Agency, the media arm of the al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee, said that more than 20 people were killed in the airstrike on the village without saying whether they were civilians or militants.

Russian Federation intervened in support of the Damascus government in September 2015 and has been assisting regime forces in an assault on Deir Ezzor from the west.

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