Pentagon: Work with Russia on air safety in Syria 'productive’
Communications with Russia in order to avoid clashes in the air over Syria have been professional and productive, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said.
"I think we continue to engage with the Russians with regard to safety of flight. Those discussions have been professional and productive," Cook told reporters Nov. 29.
He said that such conversations with Russia would continue in order to "achieve greater safety, greater understanding between Russia and U.S. air crews" and "minimize the chances of a miscalculation in the air."
"So we would have urged the Russians to maintain that memorandum of understanding and the communications, and nothing's changed in our view on that. We think it's an important line of communication to maintain in order to preserve the safety of our flight crews and of course the Russian crews as well," he continued.
The memorandum of understanding to minimize the risk of in-flight incidents between the U.S.-led coalition and Russian aircraft operating in Syrian airspace was signed on Oct. 20, 2015. Since then, defense officials from the two states discuss additional measures to increase air safety via a video linkup every month. Both sides have noted the importance of such contacts.