Home World Middle East News Syria Crisis: Russia and US Agree to Resume Talks on Air Safety

Syria Crisis: Russia and US Agree to Resume Talks on Air Safety

Russia and the US have agreed to resume talks on air safety during Syria bombing campaigns, the Pentagon has announced.

The talks “are likely to take place as soon as this weekend,” said press secretary Peter Cook.

There have been concerns that there could be an accidental clash as Russia and the US pursue separate bombing campaigns over Syria.

The US and its NATO allies have also been alarmed at violations of Turkish air space by Russian jets.

US and Russian officials conducted talks on air safety via video conference on October 1, but the US had complained that they had heard nothing from Moscow since then.

Earlier this week, Pentagon officials said they had had to carry out at least one “safe separation” maneuver to avoid a US jet coming too close to a Russian aircraft over Syria.

They said this happened after October 1, without giving a specific date.Syria air safety talks

Talks are likely to deal with how much separation there should between US and Russian aircraft and which language and radio frequencies crews should use for communications.

Russia has said it is targeting positions of so-called Islamic State (ISIS) but there are concerns that it is bombing other rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.

Reports on October 9 said IS had seized several villages near the northern city of Aleppo from rival insurgents.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on the same day accused Russia of running “fundamentally flawed” operations in Syria which would “inflame the civil war and therefore extremism”.

But Moscow has dismissed claims that its week of strikes has mainly hit non-ISIS targets.

Russia has also launched cruise missiles against targets in Syria from warships in the Caspian Sea, about 930 miles away.

Ashton Carter said there were indications that four missiles that crashed in Iran before reaching their targets in Syria had malfunctioned.

Russia has denied that any of its missiles crashed, saying all 26 hit their targets.