Pentagon readies talks with Russia on Syria operations

September 29, 2015 23:27

WASHINGTON - US Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Tuesday directed his staff to open lines of communication with Russia's military as Washington and Moscow explore ways to ensure the safety of rival operations in Syria's limited airspace, the Pentagon said.

"The purpose of these de-confliction discussions will be to ensure that ongoing coalition air operations are not interrupted by any future Russian military activity," said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook.

The United States has been closely monitoring Russia's military buildup at an airbase near the city of Latakia, a stronghold of Syrian President Bashar Assad. It includes helicopters, tanks, artillery, armored personnel vehicles and advanced air defenses, US officials say.

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