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PARIS (Reuters) - The number of U.S. diplomats in Syria has doubled as Islamic State militants near a military defeat, U.S. Defence Secretary Mattis said on Tuesday.

"Our diplomats, they are on the ground (and) have been doubled in number," Mattis said during a press conference in Paris with his French counterpart. "As we see the military operations become less, you'll see the diplomatic effort now able to take (root)," Mattis added.

(Reporting by Idrees Ali; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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Reuters