(REUTERS) — MOSCOW  — The chief of the Russian General Staff has accused the United States of training former Islamic State fighters in Syria to try to destabilize the country.

General Valery Gerasimov’s allegations, made in a newspaper interview, center on a U.S. military base at Tanf, a strategic Syrian highway border crossing with Iraq in the south of the country.

Russia says the U.S. base is illegal and that it and the area around it have become “a black hole” where militants operate unhindered.

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