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Associated Press
FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2011 file photo, supporters of the Syrian government hold a pro-Russian banner as they show their support for Syrian President Bashar Assad and to thank Russia and China for blocking a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Syria for its brutal crackdown, during a demonstration in Damascus, Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin is winning plaudits from many Syrians and Iraqis, who see Russia's military intervention in Syria as a turning point after more than a year of largely ineffectual efforts by the U.S.–led coalition battling the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Muzaffar Salman, File)

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