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Russia Critical of U.S. Plan to Give Rebels Air Cover in Syria

Russia on Monday criticized U.S. plans to provide together with Turkey air cover for Syrian rebels, saying any support for rivals of Russian ally Syrian President Bashar Assad hampered Damascus' fight against the Islamic State.

Ankara and Washington are hoping that together with the Syrian rebels they will sweep Islamic State fighters from a strip of land along the Turkish border.

"Moscow has stressed multiple times that helping the Syrian opposition, let alone helping with financial or [military] technical means, would lead to a further destabilization of the situation in the country," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

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