Russia warns US it will target US-backed fighters in Syria if provoked

By REUTERS
September 21, 2017 13:20
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MOSCOW, Sept 21 - Russia said on Thursday it had warned the United States it would target areas in Syria where US special forces and US-backed militia were operating if its own forces came under fire from them, something it said had already happened twice.

Russia was referring to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias fighting with the US-led coalition, which Moscow said had diverted from the battle to take Raqqa to Deir al-Zor, where Russian special forces are helping the Syrian army push out Islamic State militants.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the SDF had taken up positions on the eastern banks of the Euphrates with US special forces, and had twice opened fire with mortars and artillery on Syrian troops who were working alongside Russian special forces.

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