Iran threatened last week that Syrian troops will advance toward Raqqa, which fell to the SDF in October, raising the potential for a clash there.
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With the fall of Daesh's (ISIS) last significant stronghold in Syria, Iranian and Russian-backed Syrian troops now turn to face off with their main rival, the U.S.-backed forces holding large oil fields and strategic territory in the country's north and east.The Kurdish-led SDF also controls some of Syria's largest oil fields, in the oil-rich eastern Deir al-Zor province, an essential resource that the Syrian government also says it will take back.The SDF also faces restlessness in an Arab-majority town it liberated last year, a possible sign of things to come in other areas that the Kurdish-dominated forces control in their self-rule area in northern Syria, now about 25 percent of the country's territory.Four U.S. officials said Thursday that the U.S. and Russia are nearing an agreement on Syria for how they hope to resolve the Arab country's civil war once Daesh is defeated.The Euphrates now stands as the dividing line between Syrian government troops and the SDF in much of Deir al-Zor province.For weeks, the coalition said the SDF intended to push to Albukamal.
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