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Adviser in Syria Killed by Islamic State Mortar Fire, Russia Says

A Russian military adviser in Syria has reportedly been killed by mortar fire blamed on Islamic State.

The Russian defense ministry said Wednesday the unidentified officer was fatally wounded Monday while "carrying out tasks of helping the Syrian army familiarize itself with new weapons."

The ministry did not indicate exactly where the incident took place, but said it would posthumously award the officer a medal.

The officer is the third Russian to be killed in Syria since Moscow sent in military advisers and launched airstrikes against Islamic State and others it calls "terrorists."

The United States and other Western governments accuse Russia of mainly targeting opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and say the air campaign is actually intended to prop up the leader's government.

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