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More than 1,000 soldiers deployed by Iran to Syria to back the government side in its civil war have been killed, an Iranian official said, underlining Tehran's increasing presence on front lines of the conflict.Iran has been sending fighters to Syria since the early stages of the 5-1/2-year war to support its ally, President Bashar Assad, against rebels and Islamist militants including ISIS trying to topple him.Although many of the soldiers the Shiite Muslim Iran sends are its own nationals, it is casting its recruitment net wide, training and deploying Shiites from neighboring Afghanistan and Pakistan as well.
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