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US, Russia calls increase to avoid air mishaps in Syria

Air Force Lt Gen Jeffrey Harrigian said the talks with the Russians aren't always easy and sometimes it takes several calls to ensure troops are safe.

By: AP | Washington | Published: May 24, 2017 11:44:00 pm
 American force in Syria, Russia forces in Syria, US-Russian air forces in Syria, US-Russian forces in Syria, US air forces in Syria, Russian Forces in Syria, latest news, International news, World news, foreign affairs, strategic affairs A general view shows rising smoke after strikes on Aleppo city, Syria. (Source: Reuters)

A senior American Air Force commander says daily US military phone calls with Russia have increased as the two countries work to avoid aircraft mishaps in the increasingly crowded skies over Syria. Air Force Lt Gen Jeffrey Harrigian, who is in charge of US air operations in the Middle East, says the US has also set up temporary “deconfliction” zones around Syria.

Military operations by Russia or its allies are essentially restricted in those zones so American and US-backed forces are protected.

He declined to say how many exist or where they are. But they signal increased military collaboration as the war on Islamic State militants in Syria escalates.

Harrigian says the talks with the Russians aren’t always easy and sometimes it takes several calls to ensure troops are safe.

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