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US seeks to prevent Syrian army’s control over border with Iraq, expert states

May 19, 2017, 16:58 UTC+3 BEIRUT

The border area in eastern Syria, where the army and militia units are carrying out offensive now, is of major strategic importance

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

BEIRUT, May 19. /TASS/. The United States has carried out a direct military intervention in Syria to prevent the establishment of the Syrian army’s control over the border with Iraq, Lebanese Army General Charles Abi Nader, an expert in military strategy in the Middle East, told TASS.

"There is no other explanation of the strike delivered by the US Air Force on the Syrian forces and units supporting them," the general said.

The border area in eastern Syria, where the army and militia units are carrying out offensive now, has major strategic importance, he said.

"There is the only border crossing there, through which one can get to Baghdad now, taking into consideration that the Ar-Rutbah-Ramadi road has been cleared of terrorists of the Islamic State," the expert said.

"The goal of the US is evident - to prevent the restoration of transport links between Syria and Iraq and also Iran, which is the ally of Damascus," he stressed.

The expert noted that a similar intervention of the US Air Force occurred in September 2016 in the outskirts of Deir ez-Zor, some 430 km from Damascus. Then, the IS militants used the airstrike of the US aviation to seize a defensive position on the Jebel-Sarda mountain near a military airfield, which serves as a major basis of the government forces.

As the US-led coalition headquarters reported, on May 18 the aircraft struck pro-Syrian government forces operating within the established de-escalation zone northwest of al-Tanf. The statement claimed that these units posed a threat to the United States and its partners. Several servicemen were killed in the strike.

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