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Russian, U.S. defence officials discuss air safety over Syria - Interfax
March 24, 2017 / 7:26 PM / 8 months ago

Russian, U.S. defence officials discuss air safety over Syria - Interfax

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Communication channels between Russia and the United States on flight safety over Syrian airspace are working, Interfax news agency reported on Friday, citing Russia’s Defence Ministry.

The ministry said that its officials held a video conference with the U.S. counterparts on Friday and discussed possible measures to develop their memorandum of understanding on flight safety over Syria approved in 2015.

“The absence of significant incidents due to actions of Russian airforce and U.S.-led coalition in Syria was stated,” the ministry was quoted as saying.

Top U.S. and Russian military leaders had agreed at a meeting in Azerbaijan in February to enhance communication to avoid “unintended incidents”, in an apparent attempt to avoid encounters in the skies over Syria.

Russia and the United States back opposing sides in the conflict, with Moscow supporting President Bashar al-Assad and Washington providing backing to some Sunni Muslim rebels.

The United States is leading an international coalition carrying out air strikes against Islamic State. Russia’s warplanes have been taking part in air strikes against rebels opposing Assad.

Reporting by Polina Devitt; Editing by Alison Williams

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