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The News Line: News BRITISH TROOPS IN SYRIA! THE UNITED States, Britain and France have been setting up new outposts in northeastern Syria, despite the opposition of the Damascus government to any uninvited foreign military presence on sovereign Syrian territory. British forces are operating without the permission of the UK parliament.

Officials from a coalition of Arab and Kurdish militants operating in northeastern Syria said on Friday that the US, Britain and France had been setting up new bases around the city of Manbij. ‘The United States and France have increased the number of their military in Manbij,’ said Helil Bozi, the commander of the so-called Military Council of Manbij of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). He said British forces, too, had been deployed to the same territories.

Bozi, whose militant group has been allied to US forces over the past years, said the increased presence was clearly a bid to counter a potential Turkish military offensive into Manbij, as Ankara has vowed to expand its operation from areas in the northwest of Syria, where it has been battling Kurdish militants, to the east. ‘The US has deployed its Special Forces units near the Sajur River, thereby setting a red line, the crossing of which will be seen by the (US-led) coalition forces as an attack and will prompt retaliatory actions,’ he said.

Bozi added that the increased presence proved that the US had no intention of leaving the Kurdish-dominated territories in northern Syria – as demanded by Turkey. Other Kurdish officials confirmed the increased military presence of coalition forces in the region, saying US, British, and French forces had also been deployed to Tell Abyad, Dayr al-Zawr, Raqqa, and Tabqa.

The US has reportedly more than 2,000 troops stationed in eastern Syria, in addition to several thousand others in the Arab country’s north. Apart from the troops on the ground, the US and a number of its allies have been bombarding what they say are Daesh positions inside Syria since September 2014, without any authorisation from the Damascus government or the United Nations.
The commander underscored that Turkey has not found a compromise with the US on Manbij: ‘In case Turkey reached an agreement with the US, the latter would not provide Manbij with military supplies and beef up its presence there.’

‘For its part, the Military Council of Manbij is determined to maintain resistance in the event of an attack and protect its territories to the last drop of our blood,’ Bozi emphasised. Speaking to Sputnik, Rezan Gulo, Kurdish regional defence minister, said: ‘The military contingent of the US, Britain and France is located not only in Manbij but also in Tell Abyad, Deir al-Zor, Raqqa and Tabqa within the framework of the US-led coalition’s assistance (to the SDF). The coalition forces are increasing their presence throughout northern Syria.’


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