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Russian General Killed Fighting Islamic State

A Russian general has been killed while battling Islamic State group (IS) militants near the eastern Syrian city of Deir Ezzor, Moscow’s defence ministry said on Sunday.

“Division general Valeri Assapov was killed when a shell exploded during shelling by IS fighters,” the ministry was quoted as saying by local media, adding that the officer was serving as an adviser to Syrian government troops.

The ministry said Assapov would be posthumously decorated for his service.

Deir Ezzor province, on Syria’s eastern border with Iraq, is rich with oil and gas fields that served as a key revenue stream for IS at the peak of its power.

Russia intervened in support of the Damascus government in September 2015 and has been assisting regime forces in an assault on Deir Ezzor from the west.

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