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Iran Press TV

Syrian civilian shot dead by US military forces in Dayr al-Zawr: SANA

Iran Press TV

Saturday, 02 May 2020 4:25 PM

US military forces have shot and killed a civilian in Syria's eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr, amid soaring resentment and protests against the deployment of the troops in the strategic region, which has forced the occupying soldiers to retreat on occasions.

Syria's official news agency, citing local civilian sources, reported on Saturday that the victim was driving along a highway when he veered off the road near the Koniko oil field in the eastern countryside of the province, prompting US forces to open fire.

The unidentified Syrian civilian was killed on the spot.

Since late October 2019, the US has been redeploying troops to the oil fields controlled by Kurdish forces in eastern Syria, in a reversal of President Donald Trump's earlier order to withdraw all troops from the Arab country.

The Pentagon claims the move aims to "protect" the fields and facilities from possible attacks by the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group. That claim came although Trump had earlier suggested that Washington sought economic interests in controlling the oil fields.

Syria, which has not authorized American military presence in its territory, has condemned the US, saying it is "plundering" the country's oil.

Back in February, SANA reported that US troops had fatally shot a civilian in Syria's northeastern province of Hasakah after groups of angry local residents stopped an American convoy as it tried to make its way through the village of Hamo in the al-Qamishli countryside of the province.

Infighting among Turkish-backed militants in northern Syria

Separately on Saturday, clashes broke out between two Turkish-backed militant groups in Jarabulus city in Syria's northern province of Aleppo.

SANA reported that extremists from the so-called Ahrar al-Sharqiya and al-Shorta Askariyah terror outfits turned on each other, and engaged in a fierce exchange of gunfire.

The report added that a militant was killed and three others were injured during the clashes.

Ankara-backed militants were deployed to northern Syria last October after Turkish military forces launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion in a declared attempt to push militants of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) away from border areas.

Ankara views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

On October 22 last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted YPG militants had to withdraw from the Turkish-controlled "safe zone" in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow would run joint patrols around the area.

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