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As Daesh shrinks, end game for US in Syria gets murky

American troops look out toward the border with Turkey from a small outpost near the town of Manbij in northern Syria. (AP)
WASHINGTON: The closer the US gets to its original goal in Syria of defeating the Daesh group, the murkier its end game. The battlefield is shifting as demonstrated by a deadly barrage of American air and artillery strikes on a shadowy attacker.
The Pentagon insists it is keeping its focus on defeating Daesh, but Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday US-backed fighters in eastern Syria faced a “perplexing” overnight assault by about 300 pro-Syrian government fighters whose nationalities, motives and makeup he could not identify.
A number of US military advisers were present alongside local allied forces, and the Americans led a punishing response that other officials said killed about 100 of the assailants.

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