A picture shows the damage in the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zor during a military operation by government forces against Daesh on November 4, 2017. AFP / STRINGER
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U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said Monday he backed diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the Syrian civil war, which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives over more than six years of conflict, as Daesh (ISIS) militants near defeat.Russia also supports Syrian President Bashar Assad, and with its help Assad has recovered control of swathes of lost Syrian territory over the last two years and appears militarily unassailable.The United States, however, has supported the opposition to Assad during the Syrian war. However, Russia is also fighting against Islamic State in Syria, at times their goals aligning with the United States, whose forces have helped Kurdish-led militias recapture Raqqa and other parts of northern and eastern Syria from the militants.
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