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Russians drive Americans out of Syria

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Russia is expanding its military role in Syria, providing support to Syrian government forces in their attack on Idlib, the last center of rebel resistance in the north-west of the country.

“We are seeing much more aggressive Russian actions in Idlib,” said James Jeffrey, US Special Envoy for Syria, in an interview on Wednesday, February 5. Jeffrey added that Russian mercenaries in Syria are in tense confrontation with the US military, which conduct operations in the north-east of the country.

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Now that the Syrian conflict has been going on for nine years, this behavior by Russians is increasing the risk of clashes between the United States and Russia. As Jeffrey said, the Russian military several times “tried to penetrate deep into the area where we [together with the Syrian Democratic Forces] patrol”.

He added: “This does not happen every day, however, the frequency of such incidents has increased, and this causes concern.”

Offensive on Idlib

The expansion of Russia’s role is exacerbated by the crisis in northeast Syria, where about 150,000 people have fled from over the past two weeks due to an offensive operation by government forces.

Jeffrey warned that the resumption of hostilities could provoke another “large-scale crisis with refugees.” According to Jeffrey, the forces of Iran and Hezbollah are also “actively participating in supporting” the Syrian government’s offensive. “This is a dangerous conflict. It is necessary to put an end to it. Russia needs to change its policy,” he added.

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