US and Russian defense chiefs spoke for the first time in over a year on Friday, discussing the crisis in Syria, the Pentagon said, as Moscow's deepening military buildup raised the prospect of limited coordination between the former Cold War foes.
"They agreed to further discuss mechanisms for deconfliction in Syria and the counter-ISIL campaign," the Pentagon said, using an acronym for the Islamic State militant group.
The call between US Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu lasted about 50 minutes, the Pentagon said. The last time a US defense chief spoke with Shoigu was in August 2014, when then-Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Shoigu spoke.
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