Iraq

Conflict among Syrian forces may draw U.S. into proxy fight

Conflict among Syrian forces may draw U.S. into proxy fight

American-backed Syrian opposition fighters were standing watch against Islamic State militants from atop a water tower earlier this month when they were shocked to face a barrage of mortar shells — not from militants, but from the Syrian army.

“We are fighting ISIS. They are fighting ISIS. Why are they fighting us?” Raad Abdullah Hamoud, 17, said as he stood at the foot of the remote desert tower. “This is what they’re doing now. Think what they’re going to do after ISIS is gone.”

Syrian opposition fighters and their U.S. allies tried to maintain a strained detente with President Bashar Assad’s Russian-backed forces as the battle against Islamic State has shifted this month...

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