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Syrian tribes declare war on the US

MORE than 70 Syrian tribes declared war on the US at the weekend, announcing a new “resistance front” to fight foreign troops in northern Syria.

Tribal leaders from Hasakah, Aleppo and Raqqa met in the government-held city of Deir Hafer on Saturday and pledged their allegiance to Damascus, forming a new combined force to drive foreign troops and militants from Syrian soil.

The popular resistance unit will fight alongside the Syrian army in a bid to liberate all Syrian lands and return them to government control, the group said in a statement.

The tribal leaders warned that the new force would “make a direct move against” the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and US troops in northern and eastern Syria.

President Bashar al-Assad said in a Russia Today interview last week that he was prepared to enter negotiations with Kurdish forces in northern Syria where they have declared semi-autonomy from Damascus, controlling much of the region after defeating Isis. 

But he warned he only had two options to regain the territory: “The first one: we started now opening doors for negotiations. If not, we’re going to resort to liberating those areas by force.

“We don’t have any other option.” 

The tribes represent a sizeable force in Syria and analysts suggest they could pose a serious threat to the SDF if the Syrian Arab Army joins them in operations.

Kurdish forces are currently under attack from Turkey, Nato’s second-largest army, which invaded the Afrin canton in January on the pretext of fighting terrorism and securing its borders. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned last month that US and French troops wanted to partition Syria.

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