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Moscow warns US any shellings of Russian task force by Syrian opposition will be thwarted

September 21, 9:16 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia’s special forces jointly with the Syrian troops are working to destroy Islamic State militants near Deir ez-Zor

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© Russian Defense Ministry/TASS

MOSCOW, September 21. /TASS/. Moscow has informed Washington via a special communications channel that any attempts of Syrian opposition fighters to shell Russian task force and Syrian troops will be curbed, Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on Thursday.

Servicemen of Russia’s special operations forces and Syrian troops are currently working together to destroy the terrorists near Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria, Konashenkov said.

Russia warned a representative of the US command in Al Udeid, Qatar, that "any attempts of shelling from the areas where the militants of the Syrian Democratic Forces are based will be immediately curbed."

"Firing points in these areas will be immediately suppressed by all means of destruction," the general said.

Fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces approaching Deir ez-Zor from the north are easily joining IS terrorists, and Russian drones and reconnaissance recorded no clash between the IS with a "third force," namely the SDF over the past week, he explained.

However, massive fire from mortars and rocket artillery was opened twice on the Syrian troops from the areas on the eastern shore of Euphrates where the SDF fighters and servicemen of US special forces are based, Konashenkov said.

The spokesman noted that amid the Syrian troops’ success, the US-led international coalition and the SDF have halted the operation on liberating Raqqa. "Central areas of the former IS capital, which amount to around 25% of the city’s territory, remain under full control of terrorists."

"Russia’s control means recorded that the SDF militants have been dispatched from Raqqa’s province to the northern areas of the Deir ez-Zor province," Konashenkov said.

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