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US looks to Russia to avoid run-ins with Syrian troops in Deir ez-Zor

The Pentagon is considering expanding its de-confliction agreements with Moscow as Bashar al-Assad’s forces and US-backed rebels both turn their attention to eastern Syria.
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WASHINGTON — As pro-regime forces move to recapture the largest city in eastern Syria, the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) is considering extending cooperation with Russia to avoid run-ins with its Syrian ally near militant strongholds.

Earlier this week, Syrian forces supporting President Bashar al-Assad began operations with Iran-backed troops to break a three-year siege by some 2,500 IS fighters in Deir ez-Zor, a critical thoroughfare on the Euphrates River. While the United States does not maintain diplomatic ties with Assad, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve said the Pentagon could expand “de-confliction” agreements with Russia to prevent clashes with pro-regime forces.

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