Military talks to start Thursday between Russia, US: defense official

1st October 2015, Comments 0 comments

The Pentagon will launch talks with the Russian military Thursday to discuss ways to avoid mishaps between planes from the US-led coalition and Moscow, a defense official said.

The United States has repeatedly stressed the urgent need for Russia to communicate with it about when and where it plans to fly its fighter jets and bombers.

These discussions, known as "deconfliction," aim to eliminate the risk of planes from different forces inadvertently crossing paths.

"This is the start of the deconfliction talks," the defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The talks were due to begin at 11:00 am (1500 GMT) via video conference and include Elissa Slotkin, the US acting assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs.

Russia on Wednesday launched its first air strikes in Syria, which is in the grips of a brutal 4.5-year-old conflict that has claimed some 250,000 lives.

More strikes took place Thursday, with Russian warplanes hitting opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The United States leads a coalition that is carrying out near-daily strikes in Syria targeting Islamic State jihadists.

The Pentagon was riled after getting only one hour's vague "heads-up" from Russia that it was about to start bombing.


© 2015 AFP

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