The new commander of US forces in Iraq and Syria, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend hopes to conquer the "Islamic state" in the next year, reported Deutsche Welle citing his interview with CNN.

Townsend also said that the US are on the manhunt for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and other IS leaders.

According to the General, local Arab and Kurdish fighters, who were trained by the American instructors, in the coming weeks would launch an offensive in Raqqa - the city where Islamist leaders can stay.

In addition, the commander of US forces in Iraq and Syria has warned Moscow and Damascus: if military aircrafts and the Syrian government artillery again attack the areas where the US special purpose units are located, the Americans will be forced to defend themselves.

- We have told the Russians where we are located. In turn, they said they have informed the Syrians upon this. And I'll just say that we will defend ourselves once we feel threatened, said Townsend as cited by CNN.

As QHA reported earlier, Syrian government forces launched a series of attacks against US special operations forces located in the city of El Hasaka.

Photo: Internet