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Thursday, 15 September 2016

US-Russia Airstrike Coordination in Syria Only at Combatant Commander Level

Any coordination of airstrikes in Syria between the United States and Russia will be worked out strictly at the level of US combatant commander, US Air Force Chief Gen. David Goldfein told Sputnik on Thursday.

Possible US-Russian coordination of airstrikes in Syria "is all in combatant commander lanes, in terms of the military aspect of it," Goldfein said. Last week, the United States and Russia agreed to coordinate airstrikes against shared terrorist targets in Syria, if the terms of a ceasefire agreement are maintained over seven days. Russia has repeatedly sought cooperation with the United States to target the Daesh and al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups in Syria.

The US Air Force chief stated that his level of conversation with his Russian counterpart is "none," but affirmed that US-Russian military discussion is taking place "at the combatant commander level."

The ongoing operations against the Daesh in Syria and Iraq fall within the area of responsibility of US Central Command, under the leadership of General Joseph Votel.

The United States cut off military ties with Russia in 2014, following the political crisis in Ukraine and Crimean referendum to rejoin the Russian Federation. The two countries maintain high level diplomatic and political exchanges, with military contact largely limited to deconfliction channels.
[sputniknews.com]
15/9/16

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