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October 4, 2015

US and Russia discuss safe operations in Syrian airspace

The defence officials of the US and Russia have discussed ways to maintain safe air operations over Syria.

By Samseer M

The defence officials of the US and Russia have discussed ways to maintain safe air operations over Syria.

According to Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook, the officials spoke through video teleconference to discuss the situation following Russia’s entry into the fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the region.

Peter Cook said: "The video teleconference lasted a little over an hour and was cordial and professional.

"We made crystal clear that at a minimum, the priority here is the safe operation of the aircrews over Syria. That was the focal point of the discussion today and, I imagine, will be going forward."

"We made crystal clear that at a minimum, the priority here is the safe operation of the aircrews over Syria. That was the focal point of the discussion today and, I imagine, will be going forward."

During the meeting, the US officials stressed that Russia should focus on the destruction of ISIL.

The new development follows continued airstrikes by Russian forces in Syria, targeting the terrorist group.

However, the US accused Russia of aiming airstrikes at rebel groups in a bid to support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

According to US officials, the areas that Russia has hit so far are not ISIL strongholds.

Cook said that the meeting was to ensure there are no miscalculations in the Syrian airspace since it is filled with fighter-bombers, tankers and other support aircraft.

The Press Secretary added that the US presented an initial plan to improve safety and avoid miscalculation as well as activities that could escalate tensions while the Russian officials outlined their own ideas.

The officials will now take the results to their respective ministries for further study.

The Russian intervention in Syria marked the first significant military action outside the former Soviet Union after the end of the cold war.

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