Russian general killed fighting Islamic State in east Syria

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Nasser Haj Mansour of the Syrian Democratic Forces said the Conoco gas field and plant came under full control of the group Saturday morning after days of fighting with the extremists.

USA -allied militias in northern Syria announced on Saturday the formation of a civilian council to govern the oil rich eastern province of Deir al Zor where they are racing with the Syrian army to capture territory held by Islamic State.

"A representative of the USA military command in Al Udeid (the US operations center in Qatar) was told in no uncertain terms that any attempts to open fire from areas where SDF fighters are located would be quickly shut down", Major-General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

He further added that the attacks put at risk Russian military advisers embedded with Syrian government troops.

This could mean that the U.S. military staff "feel absolutely safe" in the area which is held by the terrorists, the ministry of defense stated. "Russian drones and intelligence have not recorded any confrontations between IS and the 'third force, ' the SDF", Konashenkov said. It said 29 Russian military policemen had been surrounded by militants and Russia had been forced to break them out in a special operation.

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"SDF militants work to the same objectives as ISIS terrorists".

"The firing positions in those areas will be immediately destroyed with all the arsenal at our disposal", Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said in a statement. NPR notes in passing that Abu Khawla fought against the Syrian government in the civil war before the rise of ISIS.

Russian Federation said on Thursday that if US-backed forces like the SDF threatened Syrian government troops, it would not hesitate to target them. Last week, Syrian troops crossed into parts of the east bank but have concentrated their operations mostly on the west.

The city of Deir Ezzur in Eastern Syria was besieged by ISIS in 2014.

The Syrian Army broke through the terrorists' blockade of the Syrian city earlier this month. "We want to defeat ISIS, and then liberate not only the oil fields but all the land, factories and people" and put the province back in the hands of "its rightful owners", he said.

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