Syrian army vows to eject US troops

Troops allied with Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are determined to "end the presence of the US" in the country, S...

Posted: Jan 16, 2018 6:38 AM
Updated: Jan 16, 2018 6:38 AM

Troops allied with Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are determined to "end the presence of the US" in the country, Syria's state-run news agency, SANA, said Monday, citing an official at the regime's Foreign Ministry.

The official told SANA that the Assad-aligned Syrian Arab Army would thwart the "conspiracy, end the presence of the US, its agents and tools in Syria, establish full control over the entire Syrian territory and preserve the country's sovereignty."

The US maintains some 2,000 troops in Syria

The statement comes after the US-led coalition fighting ISIS announced plans to boost border security in the region

The US maintains some 2,000 troops in Syria and has said its forces will continue to back local anti-ISIS forces there until the extremist group is defeated and the area is stabilized.

The Syrian statement comes after the US-led coalition fighting ISIS announced plans Sunday to boost border security in the region, a move that Syrian and Turkish officials have said would destabilize the region.

"The Coalition is working jointly with the Syrian Democratic Forces to establish and train the new Syrian Border Security Force (BSF). Currently, there are approximately 230 individuals training in the BSF's inaugural class, with the goal of a final force size of approximately 30,000," a spokesman for the US-led coalition, US Army Col. Ryan Dillon, told CNN in a statement.

The over 50,000-strong Syrian Democratic Forces are a mix of Kurdish and Arab fighters and have been the primary US-backed force fighting ISIS in Syria.

The Syrian official said the US decision "came within the framework of its destructive policies which aim at fragmenting the region, fueling tensions and conflicts and hindering solutions to its crises."

"The Ministry considered any Syrian citizen who takes part in the US-backed militia as a traitor to the Syrian state and people and will be treated as one, adding that these militias will hinder reaching a political solution to the situation in Syria," SANA reported.

Also on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the United States of "building an army of terror" on Turkey's border with Syria, state-run Anadolu reported.

Both Damascus and Ankara oppose the coalition's proposed border force because they view such trappings of statehood as helping to solidify the Syrian Democratic Forces' hold on the vast tracts of territory it has captured from ISIS east of the Euphrates river.

The coalition has stressed that the border force training is focused solely on security and not on other border activities like customs or immigration.

"This force is designed to establish security that supports the lasting defeat of ISIS, prevent the conditions under which it can re-emerge and restrict the flow of foreign terrorist fighters into Iraq, Turkey and Europe," Dillon told CNN on Monday.

The US has clashed with regime troops in the past, carrying out airstrikes against forces that were seen to pose a threat to a US base and shooting down a Syrian jet in June after it bombed Syrian Democratic Forces.

It is unlikely that the regime in Damascus possesses the capability to carry out its threat as a significant portion of its forces are fighting militants in the country's western province of Idlib.

"The Coalition remains focused on our support to the Syrian Democratic Forces in defeating remaining ISIS pockets in eastern Syria," Dillon said. "Coalition members are always prepared and have the inherent right to protect themselves against ISIS or any other threat."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 513622

Reported Deaths: 10264
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison34892556
DeSoto33234432
Hinds32638641
Jackson24854389
Rankin22507403
Lee16337242
Madison14922283
Jones14113247
Forrest13766259
Lauderdale12270324
Lowndes11305193
Lamar10659140
Pearl River9719244
Lafayette8846143
Hancock7836132
Washington7550169
Oktibbeha7210138
Monroe7010179
Pontotoc6990109
Warren6863178
Panola6759134
Neshoba6730210
Marshall6678141
Bolivar6445151
Union638297
Pike5928156
Alcorn5879107
Lincoln5530136
George510180
Prentiss503884
Tippah491482
Itawamba4844107
Scott477899
Adams4768125
Tate4756116
Leflore4729144
Copiah456495
Yazoo456491
Simpson4546117
Wayne443072
Covington433695
Sunflower4299106
Marion4277112
Coahoma4237109
Leake413990
Newton395781
Tishomingo383593
Grenada3777109
Stone365866
Jasper340666
Attala338290
Winston317892
Chickasaw315467
Clay312278
Clarke301195
Calhoun285049
Holmes271889
Smith269052
Yalobusha243947
Tallahatchie231553
Greene224749
Walthall221666
Lawrence218740
Perry213456
Amite209857
Webster205348
Noxubee188742
Montgomery181657
Carroll174541
Jefferson Davis173643
Tunica163239
Benton152939
Kemper145041
Choctaw136727
Claiborne134338
Humphreys131239
Franklin125529
Quitman107628
Wilkinson105939
Jefferson96934
Sharkey65221
Issaquena1957
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 845284

Reported Deaths: 16116
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1161552006
Mobile742111380
Madison53307732
Shelby38338368
Baldwin38085589
Tuscaloosa36022641
Montgomery34492781
Lee25562263
Calhoun22586518
Morgan22459406
Etowah20018517
Marshall18782316
Houston17731425
St. Clair16884358
Limestone16148218
Cullman16054303
Elmore15904294
Lauderdale14989306
Talladega14196299
DeKalb12972269
Walker12030380
Blount10717192
Autauga10517157
Jackson10162194
Coffee9417192
Colbert9342208
Dale9020191
Tallapoosa7256201
Russell708165
Chilton7018170
Escambia6957143
Covington6933195
Franklin6342108
Chambers5784142
Marion5406130
Dallas5285209
Pike5119109
Clarke484986
Lawrence4826129
Winston4780110
Geneva4642136
Bibb434094
Barbour369580
Butler3435100
Marengo342493
Monroe337266
Randolph334867
Pickens333188
Fayette330385
Henry320666
Hale318389
Cherokee317863
Crenshaw260477
Washington257052
Cleburne254460
Lamar251453
Clay250869
Macon244864
Conecuh192862
Coosa185047
Lowndes178168
Wilcox177438
Bullock152645
Perry141840
Sumter139241
Greene130245
Choctaw93228
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