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US will not engage in regime's attacks on Syria's Daraa

Washington will defend itself, partners if attacked, Pentagon spokesman says

US will not engage in regime's attacks on Syria's Daraa

By Safvan Allahverdi


The Pentagon said Friday said the U.S. or the anti-Daesh coalition will not involve itself in the Syrian regime's attacks on rebel-held towns in southern Syria.

Speaking at a news conference, Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon was asked by an Anadolu Agency reporter whether the U.S. is concerned about the advance of Bashar al-Assad’s regime in southern Syria, particularly in Syria’s south-western province of Daraa.

"We remained focused on defeating ISIS [Daesh] and any actors in the area would be ill-advised to attack U.S. forces or our coalition partners," Pahon responded. "We do not seek conflict with Syrian regime."

Urging the sides to reduce the tension and find a political resolution to Syrian conflict, he emphasized the U.S. has "low tolerance" for provocative actions and it would defend itself and its partners if attacked.

"Our diplomats and our politicians are working through various resolutions to the various conflicts going on in Syria. From a military standpoint you know we will always defend ourselves and our partners that we are working with," Pahon added.

Daraa, which is located at the intersection of Jordan, the occupied Golan region and Lebanon -- was declared a de-escalation zone in July 2017, when a trilateral cease-fire agreement was reached, with the U.S., Russia and Jordan as guarantors.

However, Assad's forces, alongside Russia, began a brutal offensive against the Daraa province on June 19 with daily bombing and shelling.

The number of people who have fled Daraa to the border areas near Jordan and Israel due to fierce Assad regime attacks now stands at 150,000.

The UN called on all sides to avoid a repetition of the bloodshed and suffering seen earlier this year in eastern Ghouta.

* Kasim Ileri contributed to this report from Pentagon

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