In recent days, the Syrian regime and its allies have reportedly managed to seize the city of Al-Bukamal, on the Syria-Iraq border, from ISIS, thus providing their forces with a land route from Iran through Iraq to Syria. Following this development, the Syrian government daily Al-Thawra published a number of articles discussing the possibility of armed resistance against the U.S. forces in Syria. Prominent among them was an article by Al-Thawra columnist Mustafa Miqdad, who wrote that the next target of the military campaign of the Syrian regime and its allies would be other areas that are not yet under the regime's control, including Al-Raqqa and additional areas where U.S. forces are present. He claimed that, now that ISIS has been eliminated by the Syrian regime, there is no longer any justification for the presence of U.S. forces in Syria, which was illegitimate to begin with, and therefore the Syrian people are fully entitled to oppose these forces by every means.
Another Al-Thawra columnist, Munir Moussa, likewise called to directly oppose the U.S. forces, writing: "The American aggression will continue as long as its forces do not encounter direct opposition." He added that the Syrian regime firmly rejects U.S. presence in the country and that this position is "met with understanding on the part of Syria's allies." Columnist Muhriz Al-'Ali wrote that "the U.S. forces on Syrian soil will be treated as occupiers that must be opposed."
These statements join similar threats by the Syrian regime and its allies to expel the U.S. troops from the country, threats which were voiced after these troops and the U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces took the city of Al-Raqqa from ISIS.
The following are translated excerpts from the article by Mustafa Miqdad:
"The city of Al-Bukamal has been purged of the ISIS filth, and the engineering units continue their sacred task of digging up the mines and bombs that this terror organization planted in the streets, neighborhoods and buildings of the city. ISIS no longer has any presence in the area, except in a few spots in small villages on the western bank of the Euphrates – and they [too] will not be left out of the [Syrian army's] reoccupation and purging campaign in the coming days. But what will come after Al-Bukamal and eastern [Syria]? Where will the heroic Arab Syrian army turn and what will it do after eliminating ISIS, simultaneously with its elimination in Iraq?
Forces of the Syrian regime and its allies in Al-Bukamal (image: facebook.com/C.Military1, November 19, 2017)
"There isn't the slightest doubt that Al-Raqqa and eastern Aleppo areas, as well as other areas in Syria, will be the next target of the sacred military operations, and the illegitimate American presence will have no impact whatsoever on the movement of our national forces. The invading American forces are in violation of international law, and the false pretexts [they use to justify] their presence are completely baseless now that terror has been eliminated by the courageous Arab Syrian army and by its allied forces that are operating on Syrian soil at the explicit request of the national [Syrian] government, in accordance with international law and conventions. The American presence, on the other hand, violates every [international] law and convention and is a flagrant violation of [Syria's] national sovereignty. Therefore, it is doomed to fail, and it will be unable to present any justifications or excuses [for its presence] to international circles, through false claims about combatting terror. Moreover, national and popular resistance continues to be the potential strategic reserve that is available to all the Syrian people, and will continue to be a legitimate right in every circumstance and every time and place. Therefore, the only remaining means of dealing with the Americans and others [like them] is in the hands of the Syrian people, who has the right to utilize any means and options to eliminate any illegitimate presence throughout Syria.
"Beyond [the discussion] on the means of fighting, [it must be stressed that] the national right and national laws, as well as international law, permit the Syrians to use every existing means to preserve the sovereignty and unity of their homeland. Therefore, the next [phase] is about to become clear; it is a continuation of the national strategy of combating terror and pursuing its remnants so as to eliminate it completely and uproot it throughout the world, since the danger of terror threatens the entire world. Terror and its arms exist not only in Syria. [I am referring to] the countries that supported, sponsored and funded it – including the U.S. and the Arab oil emirates, as well as all the European countries that deceived their citizens and tax payers into supporting terror under the pretext of combatting it. The sacred operations of the heroic Syrian army will continue wherever there are armed groups, whatever their names may be, for none of them can legitimately remain [in Syria] under any false pretext or name that contradicts [our] principles and cultural values. No play of terminology will change the contours of reality. The help of aggressors and colonialists will not change the reality on the ground. Ultimately, the facts on the ground are the decisive factor that will determine the national framework [of the post-war stage]. Only the Syrians will determine this framework, without the intervention of any external element..."
 Al-Thawra (Syria), November 19, 2017.
 Al-Thawra (Syria), November 17, 2017.
 On this, see MEMRI Special Dispatch No.7179, Syrian Regime And Its Allies: We Will Expel U.S. From Syria, Even By Military Means; Al-Raqqa Is Occupied By U.S. Allies, November 14, 2017.