The Syrian government said on Wednesday that German special forces were present, alongside French and American military personnel, in northern Syria, an accusation denied by Germany. Syrian state media said the government strongly condemned the presence of French and German forces in Ain al-Arab, also known as Kobani, and Manbij.

“Syria … considers it explicit and unjustified aggression towards (Syria’s) sovereignty and independence,” state news agency SANA quoted the foreign ministry as saying. The U.S.-backed Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) are staging an offensive against Islamic State near Manbij, while Kobani is under the control of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, part of the SDF. READ MORE