This frame grab from video provided Wednesday, Nov 8, 2017, by the government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media, shows a tank firing on militants' positions on the Iraq-Syria border. The United States and Russia are nearing an agreement on Syria for how they hope to resolve the Arab country’s civil war once the Islamic State group is defeated, officials said Nov. 9. (Syrian Central Military Media, via AP)

US officials: Deal with Russia on Syria's future is near

November 10, 2017 - 4:06 am

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say an agreement is near between the U.S. and Russia on how to resolve Syria's civil war once the Islamic State group is defeated.

The potential understanding for what happens next for Syria comes as an array of forces close in on the extremist group that once controlled vast stretches of Iraq and Syria.

Fighting the Islamic State group is no longer top priority, with the focus in Syria shifting back to its intractable conflict between President Bashar Assad's government and rebels. Another nagging concern is that foreign powers such as Iran will dominate the country's future.

Officials say the U.S.-Russian agreement being discussed would focus on reducing violence in the civil war, reinvigorating U.N.-led peace talks, and preventing collisions or confrontations between U.S. and Russian aircraft.

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