U.S. troops gain more ground in Syria's southeastern desert

U.S. troops based in Syria's southeastern desert have expanded their footprint, rebels there say, increasing the risk of direct ground confrontation between the Americans and Iran-backed pro-government forces.

U.S. special forces have been based since last year at Tanf, a strategic Syrian highway border crossing with Iraq, where the Americans have assisted rebels trying to recapture territory from fleeing Islamic State fighters.

The U.S.-backed Syrian rebels in the area are in competition with pro-government forces who are also trying to recapture territory from Islamic State.

On several occasions in recent weeks, warplanes of the U.S.-led coalition have struck pro-government forces to prevent them advancing, in what Washington has described as self defense.

Read more at Reuters.

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