Little Dog Barks: Assad threatens to force U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said that he would use force to push U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria if they don’t cede control to the government willingly. “The Americans should leave somehow. They are going to leave,” Assad said in comments to Russian state-owned RT that were broadcast Thursday. Assad said his government is negotiating with local factions to return control of the region to the government, adding that if talks fail “we are going to resort to liberating the area by force, with the Americans or without the Americans.” Syrian Kurds have declared a self-governing autonomous region in the northeast, and the U.S. has 2,000 troops there helping militias fight the Islamic State.

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