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US conducts first north-eastern Syria border patrol since pullback

By AFP - Oct 31,2019 - Last updated at Oct 31,2019

QAHTANIYAH, Syria — US forces patrolled part of Syria's border with Turkey on Thursday in the first such move since Washington withdrew troops from the area earlier this month, an AFP correspondent reported.

Five armoured vehicles bearing US flags patrolled a strip of the frontier north of the town of Qahtaniyah, an area where regime forces were expected to deploy as part of a deal with Turkey, the correspondent said.

The patrol was accompanied by Kurdish fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the main US ally in the years-long battle against the Daesh group.

US forces used to patrol the section of border north of Qahtaniyah before Washington announced its pullback on October 6.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it is part of an eastern stretch of the frontier where US forces are seeking to maintain a presence.

"They want to prevent Russia and the regime from reaching parts of the border that lie east of the city of Qamishli," the de-facto capital of Syria's Kurdish minority, observatory head Rami Abdul Rahman said.

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