US citizen fighting for Islamic State surrenders in Syria: Pentagon

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Russia has been busy.

Since then, SDF forces appear to have quickly advanced about 130 kilometres from the city of Al Shadadi to the outskirts of Deir Ezzor.

Top representatives of both Khalifa Hifter of the Libyan National Army and Fayez al-Sarraj of the Libyan Presidential Council met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov in Moscow, with the latter representative also attending to Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov in Grozny.

The Defense Ministry said the Kalibr cruise missiles were launched from two submarines in the Mediterranean on Thursday.

The SDF is a coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters dominated by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which is in control of large parts of northeastern Syria for many years.

The city of Deir ez-Zor, which has been cut off the rest of the government-held areas, was reached by the Syrian Army and its allies on September 5. Last week, the U.S-led coalition said it ended surveillance of the convoy after a Russian request.

First, the visit had symbolic meanings.

"I'll just tell you that the plan is not to go into Deir ez-Zor city, but there is (sic) plenty of ISIS fighters and resources and leaders that continue to have holdouts throughout the middle Euphrates River valley", Dillon told reporters at the Pentagon via teleconference from Baghdad.

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Nevertheless, analysts suggest that the US-backed fighters are not that ready for combat, unlike the Resistance camp that has cultivated strong resolution to link Syrian borders to Iraq's, making it unlikely for Washington to see its objectives in Syria's east realized.

The video, released by the Kurdish YPG (main SDF branch), showed technicals and Humvees driving en route to Deir ez-Zor. The source gave no details.

Col Dillon criticised the Syrian government and Hizbollah for negotiating a deal with the jihadists.

Pro-Assad forces hope to win land from the ousted extremists as do US-backed Syrian forces, approaching from the other side of the Euphrates. It was only last week that the siege was broken and humanitarian access was restored.

Frolov, however, dismissed this theory: "In order to get a few policemen stationed across Idlib, there was absolutely no need for a military official the level of Shoigu to come over".

President Assad could have been coaxed to the table after these battlefield successes.

According to the English language edition Military.com for Raqqa are fighting 30-40 thousand fighters of SDS.

But with Russian and coalition military officers already using the communications hotline that allows the two sides to de-conflict their respective forces on a daily basis, it is difficult to imagine how such efforts can be increased without venturing into more active coordination.

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