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Claim that US soldiers missing in Syria is ‘fake news’ from Assad media: US Army spox

Published: Updated:

A report from Syria’s official news agency that two US soldiers are missing in the country is “fake news,” tweeted an official spokesperson for the US army on Monday.

Limited US forces are still present in Syria, where they have been fighting against ISIS alongside local allies since 2015. The regime of President Bashar al-Assad considers their presence illegal.

On Monday night, the regime’s official news agency the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) published an Arabic report claiming that two US soldiers had gone missing near the eastern city of Deir Ezzor after their vehicle had been attacked.

The incident was also reported by the Lebanese Hezbollah-affiliated al-Mayadeen newspaper, which went further and said the soldiers had been kidnapped, and picked up by Israel’s Jerusalem Post and Iran’s Press TV.

But on Tuesday the spokesperson for the US army’s mission against ISIS in Syria, Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), dismissed the story as “fake news” and criticized SANA.

“Sadly Another Nonsense Article,” wrote OIR Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III on Twitter, with the words “FAKE NEWS” written across a thumbnail linking to the original SANA article.

“There is no incident involving coalition forces in Deir Ezzor. We can say that if there are prizes for fake news, this news agency deserves to win them all,” he added in Arabic.

While the Jerusalem Post appeared to have amended their original article to report the OIR’s dismissal of the SANA story, Iran’s official Press TV continued to run with the original SANA report as of Tuesday.

Both Iran and Iranian-backed Hezbollah support Bashar al-Assad’s regime and have fought alongside it against opposition forces during Syria’s nine-year-long war.

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