Iran claims its missiles hit IS targets in Syria

The battle for Rasafa, a key town southwest of the city of Raqqa, triggered clashes with the Kurdish forces and led to the downing of a Syrian fighter jet by a USA warplane.

As the US has intensified its fight against IS in Syria, Assad and his trusted allies of Russian Federation and Iran are increasingly asserting themselves.

Abdullah argued that the USA position is being weakened by splits within the Trump administration over Syria policy.

He says: "We are not the initiator of any conflict and war but we do not tolerate creation of insecurity in our country". "And what do adversaries do when there's ambiguity?"

"If people are that stupid that they still want to go to that country, then at least they assume the responsibility for their welfare", McCain said. "The Syrian regime and others need to understand that we will retain the right to self-defense for coalition forces aligned against ISIS", he added, using the administration's preferred acronym for the Islamic State militants who still control much territory in eastern Syria.

Syrian Opposition activist Omar Abu Laila, who is based in Germany but closely follows events in his native Deir el-Zour, said two Iranian missiles fell near and inside the eastern town of Mayadeen.

The Pentagon has deployed hundreds of USA special operations forces to work alongside Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State.

Advances by the Syria-Russia-Iran axis offer the USA a way out of a bind over how to handle what follows the retaking of Raqqa.

The risk of further escalation is steadily mounting.

Ozerov insisted that Russia will be tracking the coalition's jets, not shooting them down, but he added that "a threat for those jets may appear only if they take action that pose a threat to Russian aircraft".

The U.S. also has special operations forces and advisers embedded with the SDF, raising the stakes in the fight for the northern city. But the drive toward the border has already brought him into conflict with US -backed opposition forces to the south and east. Russia's top diplomat said the United States should respect Syria's territorial integrity and that any actions on the ground "should be coordinated with Damascus".

Their advance prompted the Syrian government and its allies to step up their operations in the two provinces. He rose to be one of the extremist group's leading ideologues. The Syrian Democratic Forces have been part of a large-scale offensive aimed at capturing Raqqa.

Sunday's incident marks the latest in a series of United States attacks on pro-regime forces. "That's why there's no threat of direct confrontation between Russian Federation and American aircraft". Because the Trump administration ended the practice of announcing numbers of Americans on the ground in Iraq and Syria, we aren't sure how many USA personnel are in the mix.

The Syrian government this month marched into Raqqa province from the west but had avoided conflict with the US -backed SDF until the latest incident.

Jennifer Cafarella, of the Institute for the Study of War, said the US strikes are unlikely to deter Assad and his backers.

The U.S. doesn't now prohibit its passports from being used to travel to any countries, even though financial restrictions limit U.S.travel to Cuba and elsewhere.

The U.S. -led coalition fighting the Islamic State group said a U.S. F-15 fighter jet shot down the drone "after it displayed hostile intent" while approaching a military camp near the Syria-Jordan border.

The U.S. secretary of state told the House Foreign Relations Committee on June 14 that Washington's policy towards Tehran was based on regime change.

Like Obama, Trump has focused on IS, leaving for later the question of Assad's fate and the region's mangled alliances. Neither has the new administration made a major diplomatic effort to persuade the warring factions into a cease-fire and peace negotiations. The U.S. said the airfield was the base of Syrian planes that used chemical weapons on civilians. "And we're trying to do that from West Africa to Southeast Asia because what we're dealing with is a transregional threat".

  • Salvatore Jensen