American, Russian Militaries to Discuss Syria

Military commanders from Russia and the United States to discuss how to stay out of each other's way in Syria, says Defense Secretary.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Ashton Carter
Ashton Carter

Military commanders from Russia and the United States will hold another round of talks Wednesday on how to stay out of each other's way in the skies over Syria, American Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said on Tuesday.

Carter announced the latest "de-confliction" talks as jets from both countries pounded targets in the war-torn Middle Eastern country, according to AFP.

"Russia must act professionally in the skies over Syria and abide by basic safety procedures," he said in Boston after talks with his Australian counterpart.

"We'll have another conversation with the Russians tomorrow on this subject. Those discussions are progressing. Nothing has been finalized," added Carter.

"Even as we continue to disagree on Syria policy, we should be able to at least agree on making sure our airmen are as safe as possible."

Carter would not put a time frame on the "de-confliction" talks, but added, "I expect that to conclude shortly."

He also warned the military-to-military dialogue would not lead to talks on Moscow's approach in Syria "because it is wrong-headed and strategically shortsighted."

Russia said Tuesday its air force had hit 86 "terrorist" targets in Syria in the previous 24 hours, including several linked to the Islamic State group.

Moscow conducted its first airstrikes in Syria last week, and later ramped up its war by unleashing cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea

Washington and its allies -- engaged in their own air war -- accuse Russia of targeting moderate rebels and of seeking to prop up Bashar Al-Assad's regime.

Putin hit back at the United States earlier on Tuesday, criticizing Washington for refusing to share intelligence with Russia and accusing it of muddled thinking and a refusal to cooperate.