Russia maintains push for US to end support of Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces
Pressing for a full withdrawal of US forces from Syria, Russia has claimed that the Americans are training a “militant army” in the east of the country.
The Russian military’s “Center for Reconciliation” in Syria put out the unsupported claim on Saturday. It asserted that US special forces are training a “New Syrian Army” comprised of more than 750 former Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra fighters. The Russians said the camp is 20 km (12.5 miles) northeast of Jisr al-Shaddadi in Hasakah Province:
Despite the statements from the American side about its adherence to elimination of the IS terrorist organization, the “International Coalition” continues cooperating with the remaining terrorists in Syria….
The US instructors of the Special Operations Command tie up separate groups of militants at a training center new the refugee camp into new military units, called the New Syrian Army. The US instructors, according to refugees returning home, are saying after the training the new units would be relocated to Syria’s south to fight the Syrian governmental forces there.
No evidence was provided for the assertion.
Russia has already pushed the US to the side in the political maneuvers over Syria, but it is seeking to end American backing of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces in the north and east of the country. The US withdrawal would clear the way for pro-Assad forces, backed by Russian airpower, to retake key positions which the SDF has taken from the Islamic State since autumn 2015. These include oil and gas fields in eastern Syria and the city of Raqqa in the north.