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Backed militia in Syria

Backed militia in Syria”

With the two opposing forces fighting in close proximity to one another, fears have grown that USA and Russian air power could be drawn into the fight, and even end up facing one another.

Together with Asapov, that brings the overall death toll of Russian troops in Syria to 37.

The Russian defence ministry has said Asapov was killed in shelling by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group near Deir Az Zor.

"The death of the Russian commander is the price paid with blood for the hypocrisy of American policy in Syria", Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov Ryabkov said on Monday.

The lack of any evidence of clashes raises questions about possible collusion between the US-backed and Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the terrorists, he said.

Russia was referring to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance of Kurdish and Arab militias fighting with the USA -led coalition, which Moscow said had diverted from the battle to take Raqqa to Deir al-Zor, where Russian special forces are helping the Syrian army push out Islamic State militants.

The ministry said Assapov would be posthumously decorated for his service. The SDF has advanced from the east with USA jets and special forces, capturing the large gas field on the river's bank this week.

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"Special Forces" operating alongside ISIS fighters in the area near Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria.

Russian Federation had warned the United States that it would retaliate immediately if Syrian government forces came under fire from the USA -backed Kurdish-led militia.

"We also extend that courtesy to Russian and Syrian regime forces who are in the same battlespace to defeat our common enemy, ISIS". The Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, which is active in opposition-held areas, said 15 people were killed and 30 wounded in Jisr al-Shughour alone, adding that other people were killed in other areas in the province.

The ministry said Lieutenant-General Valeryi Asapov died at a command station manned by Syrian troops, assisting commanders in the liberation of the city.

The Conoco gas plant came under full SDF control on Saturday, after days of fighting with ISIS militants in the area.

Syria's largest oil field, the al-Omar, is located on the eastern side of the river.

But he was "mortally wounded" after a mortar strike was carried out by ISIS on Sunday.



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