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Russia airstrikes against rebels in Syria four year old civil war may be just the beginning sources telling Reuters Iran and the militant group Hezbollah are preparing for a major ground offensive taking back territory lost by Syrian president Bashar Assad in the country's northwest , hundreds of Iranian troops have already arrived in Syria in the last ten days resources that and Russian airstrikes would be used to support ground advances by the Syrian army and its allies that means Russia Iran and Lebanon based Hezbollah could form a three pronged force to bolster in Assad's rule likely making the war longer and bloodier , on Thursday Russia conducted a second day of airstrikes against rebel targets escalating tensions with Washington and its allies White House correspondent Jeff Mason for the White House that if reports about Iranian troops being interior work through it with a sign that rush of bombing an activity there were just making , duration work primarily for Russia because that would lead to sectarian conflict only getting worse and cocking Russia into that and in general not leading their conflict being resolved we're now in a quicker manner which the international community has , Pentagon officials spoke with their Russian counterparts Thursday about staying out of each other's way as the U. S. Senate allies conduct their own airstrikes in Syria against Islamic state