(Associated Press) The U.S. military coalition fighting the Islamic State would welcome a concerted effort by the Syrian government or its Iranian-backed partner forces to defeat IS in its remaining strongholds in eastern Syria, a U.S. spokesman said Friday.

Army Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the coalition, told reporters at the Pentagon that the U.S. goal is to defeat IS wherever it exists. If others, including the Syrian government and its Iranian and Russian allies, want to fight the extremists as well, then “we absolutely have no problem with that,” he said, speaking from Baghdad.

“If it looks like they are making a concerted effort to move into ISIS-held areas, and if they show that they can do that, that is not a bad sign,” Dillon said, referring to forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad. “We are here to fight ISIS as a coalition, but if others want to fight ISIS and defeat them, then we absolutely have no problem with that.”

Washington severed diplomatic relations with Syria during the Obama administration, which insisted that Assad “must go.” More recently, Syrian government has strengthened his position, regaining key territory from weakened opposition forces.

The U.S. so far has shunned any cooperation with Syrian authorities and has partnered instead with local Arab and Kurdish forces in fighting IS. Those local forces, which the U.S. calls the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, are currently fighting to recapture the extremists’ self-declared capital of Raqqa.

Key remaining IS territory includes the cities of Deir Ezzor and Abu Kamal, along the Euphrates River Valley.

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Dillon said that as Syrian government forces move toward Abu Kamal, “if they want to fight ISIS in Abu Kamal and they have the capacity to do so, then that would be welcomed. We as a coalition are not in the land-grab business. We are in the killing-ISIS business. That is what we want to do, and if the Syrian regime wants to do that and they’re going to put forth a concerted effort and show that they are doing just that in Abu Kamal or Deir Ezzor or elsewhere, that means that we don’t have to do that in those places.”

Source: Associated Press

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Vince Dhimos

Well, Mr. Dillon, why not encourge Israel to fight ISIS? Obviously the have a lot of extra bullets.

Daeshbags Sux
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Daeshbags Sux

Actually, Obama paid $33.8bln to Israel to not do so! Eshell, their air marshall, publicly vowed to launch a massive air campaign that, in 48h, would damage so much IS that no area they rule(d) could sustain even light pressure. Putin was even enthusiasmed by the idea, the Obongo signed the check and Bibi concluded that Israeli action would become a magnet for all loonies on the planet to move to Syria only to fight Israel. In fact, Syria wouldn’t have a lot of trouble to come through to receive Israel’s help and even had ended paying this much lesser.… Read more »

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OziGooner .

As heartwarming that may sound….the US doesn’t want the Syrian Army to have control over Eastern parts of the country like in Deir-Ez-Ezzor. Washington, like Israel wants to prolong the war in Syria by backing jihadi rebels who openly hate christians and other secular factions…in order to sell weapons & create more casualties.

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Rodney Loder

Trump is flip flopping again, Salman and his boy will spend a few extra hours on the bog after reading this stuff, their lavitories at close together to accommodate the learning curve.

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Manuel Flores Escobar

I think the true statement is : ” Any effort by ISIS to defeat Syrian government and allies would be welcome”!…thats why Israel airstrike vs SAA in Golan!

Daeshbags Sux
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Daeshbags Sux

Manuel : if Israel was willing to demolish Syria, it would have been done for long and wouldn’t take 6 years.
Learn about IDF ROEs, you’ll see it totally complied to these. Same thing for the strikes on Gaza : if Hamas doesn’t shoots rockets or Mortar, Hamas doesn’t gets air strikes.
IS has presence in SW Syria, they’re visibly more clever than some SAA mortar teams : they once dared to shoot into Israel and were also pounded. They didn’t gave a 2nd try since.
Thus, IDF did a disproportionate pounding.

Floriangeyer
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Floriangeyer

Does the US military recruit morons to become US Officers or does it train idiots to become morons ?

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Deo Cass

What an a….ole! The Syrian Arab Army has been fighting the US proxies of ISIS since 2013. The Syrian government forces do not need the US permission to fight ISIS because Syria is their home and their land. It is the US which should ask Syria permission to fight ISIScon its own sovereign turf.

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jmNZ

Where on earth has this guy been?
Did he not know of the Sept 17th 2016 US bombing of the Syrian garrison in Deir-ez-Zor?

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ziad welds

yeah right,,more like in the business to violator other countries sovereignty and attack there forces

happygolucky
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happygolucky

I notice he doesn’t mention the eventual return of occupied territory to the legitimate Syrian government.

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Deo Cass

This statement says more than meets the eye. Don’t think for a moment that the US has changed its regime change stance. It is utterly a cynical joke to cover a very unpleasnat truth that the US has declared a full no fly zone for Syrian and Russian aircraft over Syria and only it can give permission as to who fights who there and where. The Syrian government does not need the US permission to fight ISIS anywhere it wants on its own sovereign territory. Russia has abandoned Syria to its faith and only Iran, Hezbollah and God can help… Read more »

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Deo Cass

I don’t want to appear cynical. But if the US were truly genuine that its only intentention is to fight against its own proxies of ISIS then it should first and foremost regularise its position according to international law by asking permission to the Syrian Government to remain in Syria until ISIS are defeated?! If it simply makes that small but fundamental effort, the Syrian government would be more than glad not only to grant such permission, in this way bringing the US and its coalition in compliance with the UN charter and international law, but it would become friends… Read more »