photo - FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 file photo, a Russian soldier guards as a military helicopter flies over Palmyra, Syria. Russian special forces are helping Syrian government troops fight Islamic State militants in the battle underway for the strategic city of Deir el-Zour in eastern Syria, the defense ministry in Moscow said on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. The deployment comes amid rising concerns of a direct confrontation on the ground between Russian-backed forces on one side and the U.S.-supported Kurdish-led Syrian forces on the other. (AP Photo, File)
FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 file photo, a Russian soldier guards as a military helicopter flies over Palmyra, Syria. Russian special forces are helping Syrian government troops fight Islamic State militants in the battle underway for the strategic city of Deir el-Zour in eastern Syria, the defense ministry in Moscow said on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. The deployment comes amid rising concerns of a direct confrontation on the ground between Russian-backed forces on one side and the U.S.-supported Kurdish-led Syrian forces on the other. (AP Photo, File) 
FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 15, 2017 file photo, a Russian soldier guards as a military helicopter flies over Palmyra, Syria. Russian special forces are helping Syrian government troops fight Islamic State militants in the battle underway for the strategic city of Deir el-Zour in eastern Syria, the defense ministry in Moscow said on Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017. The deployment comes amid rising concerns of a direct confrontation on the ground between Russian-backed forces on one side and the U.S.-supported Kurdish-led Syrian forces on the other. (AP Photo, File)
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