The Pentagon on Thursday reiterated its denial that US forces fighting the Islamic State group have moved to cut off Iran-backed militias’ access to a key border crossing between Iraq and Syria.
Pentagon Press Secretary US Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told journalists that recent news reports in Arabic-language media alleging such were “false” and that US forces are not involved in security on the Iraqi border.
“I’m not tracking any significant shift in forces as it pertains to the defeat ISIS mission in in Syria,” Ryder said in response to a question by Al-Monitor on Thursday.
“We don’t provide border security. That’s the role of the Iraqi government,” he continued.
The Pentagon’s denial came after the top commander of US-led coalition forces also pushed back on the reports.
“The coalition is not preparing for military operations to cut off anybody except Daesh [IS]. We remain focused on Daesh,” US Army Maj. Gen. Matthew McFarlane told reporters during a phone briefing from Baghdad on Wednesday.