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US-Backed Kurds Impose Syria Curfew    09/25 06:50


   BEIRUT (AP) -- U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces imposed a curfew after clashes 
erupted again on Monday in eastern Syria, where their fighters had battled for 
weeks with rival Arab militiamen, Syrian media and activists reported.

   The fighting in a region where hundreds of American troops are deployed has 
pointed to dangerous seams in a coalition that has kept on a lid on the 
defeated Islamic State group for years.

   The reports say the Syrian Democratic Forces imposed the open-ended measure 
in several towns in Deir el-Zour province, including the town of Ziban, close 
to the Iraqi border where the Americans are based. Hundreds of U.S. troops have 
been there since 2015 to help in the fight against the militant Islamic State 
group. The oil-rich province is home to Syria's largest oil fields.

   Al Mayadeen, a pan-Arab TV station, said several fighters from the 
Kurdish-led forces were killed after Arab gunmen took over several parts of 
Ziban on Monday. Britain-based opposition war monitor the Syrian Observatory 
for Human Rights said some of the Arab fighters had crossed from 
government-held areas.

   Local media in the province reported that some Kurdish fighters had fled the 
area as the clashes intensified. There were no further details.

   The Kurdish-led forces have accused the Syrian government of inciting the 
violence by allowing the rival Arab militiamen to crossing the Euphrates River. 
The clashes first erupted in late August when two weeks of fighting killed 25 
Kurdish fighters, 29 members of Arab tribal groups and gunmen, as well as nine 
civilians, according to the Syrian Democratic Forces .

   The Syrian government of President Bashar Assad in Damascus sees the 
Kurdish-led forces as secessionist fighters and has denounced their alliance 
with the United States in the war against IS and their self-ruled enclave in 
eastern Syria.

   Meanwhile, Turkey, which has troops inside Syria, and Turkish-backed 
oppositions groups in Syria's northwest, routinely clash with the Kurdish-led 
Syrian Democratic Forces.

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