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US Forces Storm Crossing Between Government, SDF Areas In Deir Ezzor

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US Forces Storm Crossing Between Government, SDF Areas In Deir Ezzor

A convoy of US forces armored vehicles drives near the village of Yalanli, on the western outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Manbij, on March 5, 2017. Delil Souleiman/AFP/Getty Images

On March 5, US forces stormed a crossing on the Euphrates River in southern Deir Ezzor, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The crossing, which is located near the town of al-Hawajidz, links the government-held western bank of the Euphrates River with the eastern bank, which is controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The London-based monitoring group said that a patrol of the US-led coalition took over the crossing after forcing local workers and civilians out of the area.

The crossing has been closed for a while now. Previously, the crossing was used to move people and goods between government and SDF-held areas. Crossings on the Euphrates River are usually used to smuggle oil also.

US forces maintain a large presence in the SDF-held part of Deir Ezzor, mainly in the al-Omar oil fields. Earlier this year a new airstrip was built in the region.

The US takeover of the al-Hawajidz crossing is likely meant to end the shipping of goods and oil to government-held areas. Washington, which controls most of the natural resources in northeastern Syria, has been waging an economic war on Damascus since the outbreak of the crisis in 2011.

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