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Putin Sends Defense Minister to Damascus to Confer With Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met Saturday with the Russian defense minister in Damascus, while U.S. and Russian military officials held separate talks about Russia's attack on U.S.-backed Syrian rebel forces this week. Sergei Shoigu was the highest-ranking Russian official to travel to Syria since Moscow sent military forces into Syria nine months ago to support the Assad government. He said he went to Damascus as President Vladimir Putin's personal envoy. Russian defense...

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