Nusra Front fighters rest with their weapons behind sandbags in the Sheikh Maksoud neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria August 3, 2015. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail
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Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Monday dismissed as "counterproductive" an announcement by Washington that it could take extra measures to defend U.S.-allied fighters in Syria.At a news conference in Qatar, Lavrov condemned comments by the White House that it could take "additional steps" to protect allies in Syria and warned President Bashar Assad's regime not to impede their actions. U.S. officials said late Sunday that the United States has decided to allow airstrikes to defend Syrian rebels trained by the U.S. military from any attackers, even if the enemies hail from forces loyal to Assad.The decision by President Barack Obama, which could deepen the U.S. role in Syria's conflict, aims to shield a still-fledging group of Syrian fighters armed and trained by the United States to battle ISIS militants – not forces loyal to Assad.
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