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Russia’s Lavrov says US stance on Syria risks 'proxy war'

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and US Secretary of State John Kerry pose for photos before a meeting at Hotel Imperial in Vienna, Austria, October 29, 2015. (Reuters)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the United States’ policies vis-à-vis the conflict in Syria could trigger a proxy war in the region.  

“I am sure that neither the United States nor Russia want (the Syrian conflict) to become a so-called proxy war,” Lavrov told reporters on Friday after international talks on the Syria crisis in Vienna, Austria.

On Friday, the United States announced plans to deploy special operations forces to Syria as military advisers to provide consultation in what Washington has termed as the battle against the Takfiri Daesh terrorists.

About 50 special operations forces will be sent to assist Kurdish and Arab forces in northern Syria, US officials have said.

Russia’s military is already engaged in the conflict. Moscow began airstrikes against positions of Daesh in the war-stricken Arab country on September 30 upon a request from Damascus.

The Russian foreign minister said it is “obvious for me that the situation makes the task of cooperation between the militaries (of Russia and the US) more relevant.”

Lavrov added that while international negotiations on the crisis in Syria go on, Russia’s military involvement in the region would not end.

'US aggression'

Meanwhile, a Syrian member of parliament said on Saturday that the White House decision to send troops into Syria is an act of aggression because the US does not have the Syrian government's agreement.

"When America sends ground forces into Syrian territories without an agreement with the Syrian government it becomes an intervention and aggression," Sharif Shehadeh told The Associated Press by telephone.

"Will America allow Russian ground forces to go into America without an agreement? I think the answer is no."

The United States and its regional allies have been pushing for the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over the past few years of turmoil in the country.

Washington has also provided support for the so-called moderate militant groups operating against the government of President Assad.

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