"No, we don't expect to encounter Russian or Syrian forces," Gedney told reporters on Tuesday. "We have confidence that the deconfliction mechanisms we have in place will work."
Gedney said planning for the final stage of Operation Round Up is ongoing and has as its goal clearing the last remaining Daesh*-held pockets in the city of Hajin in the Abu Kamal district.
Completing Operation Round Up can only mean liberating the territory east of the Euphrates River after which the coalition must support stabilization efforts to ensure a lasting defeat of Daesh in the region, Gedney said.
Coalition says the second phase #OperationRoundup is now complete in northern Jazeera region, although back clearing is ongoing. Planning is ongoing for third and final phase of Op Roundup to clear Al-Bukamal of #ISIS fighters— Carla Babb (@CarlaBabbVOA) July 31, 2018
Gedney pointed out that the coalition expects a difficult fight in the final stage of the operation because hardcore Islamic State fighters have congregated in a densely populated area, which is the last area they presently control.
RT #CJTFOIR "RT SDF_MOACC: This’s busayra town in #DeirEzzor countryside that been liberated from #ISIS by #SDF operations #JazeeraStorm with the help of SOJTFOIR #OperationRoundup now normal life is coming back to the town. #AfterDaesh #CoalitionP… pic.twitter.com/FWL4q0sSz2"— Peter (@MasonPeterJ) July 28, 2018
The US-led coalition of more than 70 countries is conducting military operations against the Daesh terror group in Syria and Iraq. The coalition's operations in Iraq are conducted in cooperation with Iraqi officials, but those in Syria are not authorized by the government of President Bashar Assad or the UN Security Council.
*Daesh — a terrorist group, banned in numerous countries, including Russia