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The SDF offensive began before the United States and Russia had agreed on a specific mechanism for military deconfliction, similar to arrangements reached to manage combat operations around Al-Tanf in southern Syria and Tabqa, the SDF controlled town just south of the Euphrates.The U.S. appeared to be relying on an informal understanding, wherein the Euphrates River would divide the zones of control: Russia and the regime to the south and west and the U.S. and SDF to the north and east. The U.S. has settled on using the SDF model to try and address both of the aforementioned issues.The challenge is that the further expansion of SDF control is at odds with regime and Russian interests, and, thus, the regime could use force to block the SDF. The U.S. would have to make a choice about whether it intends to defend the SDF from regime attack. What is it that the U.S. wants in post-conflict Syria?
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