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Diplomat says US must leave Syria

September 11, 3:40 UTC+3 BEIRUT

A Syrian diplomat says the US "should withdraw its military personnel, otherwise, the Syrian army will regard them as a hostile force"

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© Valeriy Sharifulin/TASS

BEIRUT, September 11. /TASS/. The US military presence is "illegal and unacceptable," as it has not been authorized by the Syrian government, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told the Al-Mayadeen TV channel on Sunday.

He noted that the US "should withdraw its military personnel, otherwise the Syrian army will regard them as a hostile force."

"The actions by the United States and the coalition led by it have no justification, for they are destroying Syria, killing civilians during airstrikes and destroying the economic infrastructure," the diplomat stressed. "This is in line with the terrorists’ plans but does not meet the Syrian people’s interests."

Mekdad noted that "anyone who wants to fight terrorist groups should coordinate their actions with Syria and its allies."

He described the ongoing fighting at Deir ez-Zor "the last big battle." "This city and province are very important for us, as they are located near the border with Iraq," Mekdad noted. "Therefore, the Syrian army’s success is strategic edging us close to defeating the gangs of the Islamic State terror group (IS, outlawed in Russia - TASS)."

The US has established three military bases in the northeastern Al-Hasakah province and another one in Kobani. About 1,500 US commandos support the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are storming Raqqa. On Saturday, the SDF launched an offensive against Deir ez-Zor and drove out IS terrorists from the industrial zone east of the city.

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