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France steps up military presence along Syria-Iraq border

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France steps up military presence along Syria-Iraq border
 France has expanded its military presence in Syria, joining the United States in its support for Kurdish militants that are accused of being used by the US to partition the Arab country.
Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Sunday that French special forces had established six artillery batteries in eastern Syria along the border with Iraq, which are controlled by the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The news agency quoted local sources as saying that the new artillery batteries, located north of Baguz village in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr, had fired their first shots.
The US-led coalition confirmed on Twitter that "artillery from France" was supporting the SDF forces in an alleged attack on Daesh terrorists to the east of the Euphrates River in eastern Syria.
The US and its allies have been bombarding what they call Daesh positions inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate. The strikes, however, have on many occasions resulted in civilian casualties and failed to fulfill their declared aim of countering terrorism.
The Kurdish-dominated SDF is composed largely of militants from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), an anti-Damascus outfit regarded by Turkey as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
The SDF militants, mainly active in the eastern part of the Euphrates River, are purportedly fighting against the remnants of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, which has already been driven out of all its urban bastions both in Iraq and Syria.
Damascus regards them as unwelcome armed forces occupying parts of the Syrian territory without the consent of the central government.
A pro-opposition monitoring group said the SDF, backed by artillery support from allied American and French forces, was advancing on Sunday against Daesh in eastern Syria near the border with Iraq.
AFP