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Russia-US deconfliction channel in Syria is working — Pentagon

June 20, 2017, 20:34 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
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WASHINGTON, June 20. /TASS/. The Russian-US communication channel to prevent mid-air incidents over Syria is in operation, a spokesman for the headquarters of Operation Inherent Resolve, which is being conducted in Iraq and Syria by a group of countries led by the US, informed TASS on Tuesday.

"The Coalition has made it clear to all parties publically and through the deconfliction line with Russian forces that the demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces toward Coalition and partner forces in Syria conducting legitimate counter-ISIS operations will not be tolerated," he said.

"There is a deconfliction mechanism in place with Russian forces to reduce uncertainty in this highly contested space and mitigate the chances of strategic miscalculation. Given recent events, the Coalition will not allow pro-regime aircraft to threaten or approach in close proximity to Coalition and partnered forces," the coalition’s representative said.

He did not specify, though, whether contacts between the US and Russian forces are maintained through a channel established in accordance with the memorandum on preventing mid-air incidents and ensuring flights safety. On Monday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford said that such cooperation continues despite the fact that Russia announced its suspension.

On Monday, the Russian Defense Minsitry reported that the international coalition’s aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles west of the Euphrates in Syria would be tracked by Russia’s air defenses after a Syrian fighter had been shot down by a US warplane. The ministry also said that Russia was discontinuing cooperation with the US military as part of the memorandum on preventing mid-air incidents and ensuring flights safety during operations in Syria.

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