Russia is sending ships loaded with tanks and trucks to support Assad in Syria

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UNCONFIRMED reports suggesting that Russia was planning to expand its military support for Syrian President Bashar Assad prompted a warning from the U.S. that such actions could lead to a confrontation with coalition forces.

In Washington, the State Department issued a statement after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to express concern over unconfirmed reports “suggesting an imminent enhanced Russian military build-up” in Syria.

While not elaborating on or confirming the accuracy of those reports, the State Department said Kerry made clear to Lavrov that such actions “could further escalate the conflict, lead to greater loss of innocent life, increase refugee flows and risk confrontation” with the anti-Islamic State coalition operating led by the US that is carrying out strikes in Syria.

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