Baghdad, IRAQ – The U.S.-led Coalition has sent additional military reinforcements to northeast of Syria, in the wake of remarks by the Syrian President threatening the Syrian Democratic Forces, an informed Kurdish source said on Sunday.

Speaking on condition of anonymity to BasNews website, the source said deploying French troops “in Deir az-Zour as well as the air cover by the U.S.-Coalition shows readiness to respond to whatever violation by the region against its allies, the Syrian Democratic Forces.”

“France recently deployed missiles in Deir az-Zour countryside, fearing progress by the regime forces or its militias against eastern Euphrates region, controlled by SDF,” he added.

Iraqi News reports that the missiles, according to the source, “were previously used against the locations of the regime or its militias inside Deir az-Zour.”

The U.S. State Department previously said it does not seek fighting Syrian or Iranian troops, however, it will use necessary and proportional force to defend the U.S. troops or its partners in war against Islamic State in Syria.

In a televised interview on Thursday, Assad expressed readiness for negotiations with the Syrian Democratic Forces, or else he would use force against them to get out of the regions they control.

Confrontations broke out recently between SDF and Syrian regime forces in Deir az-Zour, east of the country, in the wake of progress by the latter toward Eastern Euphrates.

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US troops are not leaving Syria and any attempt to remove them by force will be met with an armed response, a top Pentagon official said, reacting to Syrian President Bashar Assad’s news interview.

“Any interested party in Syria should understand that attacking US forces or our coalition partners will be a bad policy,” Director of Joint Staff Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie said at the Pentagon press briefing on Thursday.

Over 2,000 US troops in Syria are embedded with the SDF in the northeast as well as in the enclave of At-Tanf in the south, along the Jordanian border. McKenzie said the US troops and their local militia allies were staying in Tanf, quashing rumors of their impending withdrawal.

“We are there. Nothing has changed,” he said. “The maintenance of that deconfliction zone is important and we would view very gravely any actions that tended to change that.”



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