Syrian pro-government forces advance in the Jamiyet al-Ruwad neighborhood, on the northern outskirts of Deir Ezzor, on September 14, 2017. (AFP / George OURFALIAN)
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Syrian troops crossed to the eastern side of the Euphrates River in Deir al-Zor Monday, state media and an activist group reported, increasing their presence in an area where U.S.-backed forces have also advanced.A commander in the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces confirmed Syrian army units had crossed the eastern side of the Euphrates and said his fighters were ready to drive them back.The convergence of the Syrian army offensive from the west and the separate SDF operation from the east has increased tension between the two sides.The SDF has advanced to within kilometers of the river, while the Syrian army has retaken much of the city, most of it on the western side.The SDF, dominated by the Kurdish YPG militia, controls much of Syria's northeast.
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