GAZIANTEP, Turkey—U.S. forces battled to contain the deployment of Syrian regime troops on Monday, as President Bashar al-Assad ordered his forces into several sensitive areas.
Although still seemingly prepared to withdraw from Syria—according to statements from Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and other administration officials—sources on the ground told The Daily Beast that American forces continued to try to prevent or at least rein in the full scope of the Assad regime’s deployment throughout the region.
Late Sunday night, local news sources such as Raqqa Is Being Silently Slaughtered, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, and other outlets reported that U.S. aircraft launched airstrikes against pro-Assad positions near Tabqa, Mansour, and in Khasham, killing and injuring an unspecified number of fighters.
The U.S. Spoiled a Deal That Might Have Saved the Kurds
As The Daily Beast published, well-placed sources on the ground, in addition to the largely Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) local Tabqa Civil Council, claimed no regime military forces remained stationed in either Tabqa or Raqqa cities, although this was disputed by Syrian state media. Sources also said U.S. forces remained stationed at the Qarakozaq bridge that links Manbij to the nearby border town of Kobani, preventing movement between the cities in an attempt to prevent pro-Assad forces from entering the area.
Throughout Sunday evening and Monday morning, Syrian regime forces reportedly spread out and were deployed to several key locations in Syrian Democratic Forces territory as part of a deal stuck to reinforce Kurdish forces amid recent gains by the Turkish military.
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