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Pentagon wants more senior-level talks with Russia on security of flights in Syria — media

February 24, 8:15 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
According to Jeffrey Harrigian, US aircraft "on occasion get out of the way" of Russian jets
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©  AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

WASHINGTON, February 24. /TASS/. The US military officials want to elevate a more senior-level talks with Russia about air operations over Syria, according to Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian, the top Air Force commander in the Middle East, the Washington Post wrote.

"Our perspective has been that there needs to be another layer that allows us to have a more senior-level discussion, and we’ve got to work through where that layer is," Harrigian told reporters in Baghdad, suggesting that adding a US general with somewhere between one and three stars and a Russian counterpart would be helpful, the newspaper wrote.

According to Harrigian, US aircraft "on occasion get out of the way" of Russian jets. "This was especially true a few months ago when both countries were launching airstrikes regularly near the Syrian city of Palmyra, he said. Such decisions could be hampering the overall operation, however," he was quoted as saying.

"Did we miss targets? I can’t say that for sure, but I would tell you that optimally we would have gone after that in a different manner," he said.

Air Force Col. John Thomas, a spokesman for US Central Command, told the newspaper that the US military officials have "advocated upgrading the technology used to communicate with the Russians, which up until now has consisted of little more than a commercial phone line."

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