It would be useful to work out rules to avoid unwanted incidents in the sky, but is there enough sense in Washington to be realistic and not try to use them to hamper Russian campaign?
Originally appeared at The BRICS Post
The Russian and US military have agreed in principle with the proposals on coordinating military flights, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
“The Russian Defense Ministry has responded to the Pentagon’s request and promptly considered the American proposal on coordination of actions in the framework of the fight against the terror group ISIS,” Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov was quoted by TASS news agency.
Moscow has said it is working on a “US document” of agreement.
“The Americans have handed us a document, which we are working on. The general staff supports the document in principle,” said Russia’s deputy defense minister, Anatoly Antonov.
“To our regret, the Americans are for now saying that our co-operation should be limited to technical questions concerning our pilots when they carry our their missions,” said Antonov.
The Russian Defence Ministry had earlier clarified that an SU-30 warplane had entered Turkish air space along the border with Syria “for a few seconds” on Saturday, a mistake caused by bad weather. Nato has rejected Russia’s explanation.
Russian Minister Antonov on Tuesday also referred to a video conference between the US and Russian defense ministries had taken place on October 1 to discuss the “safe use of air forces” in Syria. A second is planned within “the next few days”.
“But it would be better if our colleagues came to us and we discussed all the problems eye to eye here, at the Defense Ministry headquarters,” Antonov said.
The US and Russia are both bombarding Syrian territory to defeat terrorist forces, although their aerial campaigns are uncoordinated.
An intense wave of Russian air strikes hit the Syrian province of Hama and nearby areas in the neighboring province of Idlib on Wednesday, according to a conflict-monitor group that is sympathetic to the Syrian opposition.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said there were also heavy surface-to-surface missile bombardments.
Moscow launched its military operation against Islamic State and other terrorist groups at the request of the Syrian government on September 30 and has already targeted a number of IS infrastructure units, hitting command centers, ammunition depots and explosive production sites, among others military facilities.