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Turkey Claims to Have Killed 71 US-Backed Kurds in Syria Attacks

13 March 2017

In the continuing effort to defeat ISIS, do you think more US troops should be sent to Syria?

US General Stephen Townsend, commander of the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve told reporters that he was concerned about the convergence of Turkish, Russian, Syrian regime and ISIS forces on areas near Manbij. The vote will determine whether President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will gain greater powers under a USA -style executive presidency.

As for the Syrian army, the SDF operations in Raqqa and elsewhere could be a positive thing since there is an undeclared coordination between both forces, observers say. He noted that few could expect "so efficient and confiding contacts" between Ankara and Moscow. Assad's government views all armed opposition as terrorist groups. The two also coordinated their operations against the Islamic State group in Syria.

"It can not be from the air, it should be in cooperation with the troops on the ground, that's why the Russians succeeded, since they supported the Syrian Army in pushing IS to shrink, not to expand as it used to be before that".

According to the information, Washington did not communicate or receive authorization from the Syrian Government to deploy those troops. It was the third time the town, famed for its ancient Roman ruins, changed hands in just one year. Manbij was retaken from ISIS control by Kurdish and Syrian Arab forces past year.

Assad said his military's priority was to reach the Islamic State's de-facto capital of Raqqa - toward which US-backed Kurdish-led forces are also advancing.

The spokeswoman for the Syrian Democratic Forces said on Friday that their numbers are increasing, with residents of areas newly liberated from IS joining the ethnically mixed force.

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"Their raids against ISIS...happened without the cooperation or the consultation with the Syrian Army or the Syrian government which is illegal", he said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will host a meeting in Washington later this month of nations in the U.S. -led global coalition to fight the Islamic State group, the State Department said Thursday.

Couso, according to SANA news agency, spoke in favor of restoring diplomatic relations between Syria and the European Union that were severed in 2011.

The Syrian Army has deployed its forces in some villages, such as Jubb al Hamra and Al Wahijih, which were previously controlled by the Kurdish fighters of the Manbij Military Council, in order to maintain security in the regions to the West of Manbij after a recent Russian-brokered agreement between the SDF and Damascus.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, the main USA partner in Syria, this week cut the road from Raqqa to Islamic State's stronghold in Deir al-Zor - the last main road out of Raqqa, and declared it would reach the city limits within a few weeks.

In testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Votel said he agrees with the assessment of Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces, that the war with the Taliban is at a "stalemate" and a "few thousand" more U.S. troops should be deployed to advise and assist the Afghan forces.

Turkey Claims to Have Killed 71 US-Backed Kurds in Syria Attacks