Russia, US Video-Conference Syrian Ops Flight Safety

  • Our Bureau
  • 12:03 PM, January 29, 2016
  • 1924

The US and Russia held a video conference to discuss implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding on flight safety over Syrian airspace.

The video call was co-chaired by US Assistant Secretary (Acting) of Defense for International Security Affairs, Elissa Slotkin and Joint Staff Director for Strategic Plans and Policy Kenneth Mckenzie with their counterparts in Russian Defense Ministry, Pentagon spokesperson Peter Cook said in a statement Thursday.

"The two sides discussed measures to enhance operational safety for counter-ISIL (Islamic State) coalition and Russian military forces operating in Syria, including the means to avoid accidents and unintended confrontation between coalition and Russian forces whenever the two sides operate in close proximity," Cook said.

"The conversation was constructive and the two sides agreed to continue safety discussions in this format in the future," Cook noted.

Since September 2014, the US-led coalition has been carrying out air strikes against IS targets in Syria. Russia, at the request of the Syrian government, has also started air bombing operations against IS in Syria since September 2015.

In order to avoid misunderstanding or accidents, the US and Russia signed last year a Memorandum of Understanding on safety procedures for their respective air operations in Syria.

The latest discussions followed the video conferences held by US and Russian defense officials in October 2015 to discuss the implementation of the MOU.

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