Iran-backed militias are setting their sights on US forces in Syria after devastating air strikes

By: News - Sky ExpressPublished: 6 months ago


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American troops look out toward the border with Turkey from a small outpost near the town of Manbij, northern Syria, February 7, 2018. Associated Press With the Islamic State in retreat and anti-regime rebels losing ground, Iranian-backed armed groups in Syria are turning the focus of their militancy to U.S. troops on the ground. Western military officials and independent analysts have long said it was only a matter of time before U.S. forces on the ground in Syria were targeted by militias. Now, this weekend's U.S.-led airstrikes on alleged chemical weapons installations could hasten such attacks. The militias have "always had this anti-American tone, but when you have one threat after another, you see they're trying to send a specific message," says Phillip Smyth, a scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy who has been tracking Iranian-backed militias in Syria. This month, the Baqir Brigade, one of a number of Iranian-backed militias operating in Syria, announced on its Facebook page that it would begin attacks on U.S. military personnel. "We in the Baqir Brigade le...

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