A member of Roj Mine Control Organization searches for mines and explosive devices planted by Daesh near the village of Ain Issa, north of Raqqa.
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Syria troops positioning for Daesh fightSyrian government troops and their allies have steadily positioned themselves in key areas on the flanks of the U.S.-led coalition battle for the Daesh's (ISIS) self-declared capital of Raqqa.As the U.S. has intensified its fight against Daesh in Syria, Assad and his trusted allies of Russia and Iran are increasingly asserting themselves.A close look at the map shows that pro-Assad troops have placed themselves in key locations in the anti-Daesh battle, while staying close to the U.S.-backed Kurdish forces who lead the ground offensive. The Syrian government forces and their allies have placed themselves south of Raqqa and on the outskirts of Deir al-Zor, the Daesh militants' last refuge.The battle for Al-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 U.S. warplane.For the first time in two years, Syrian troops reached the border with Iraq, establishing a link with Iraqi forces that were advancing on their side, and outflanking U.S. troops and allied rebels in Al-Tanf, near the border with Jordan. The U.S. then deployed a truck-mounted missile system in Syria, showing that the U.S. military intends to protect itself.These battles are critical for Syria's future, Abu Abdullah said, noting they will force the U.S. to negotiate with the Assad government.
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