Last updated: 7 October, 2015

Russia ‘could put in place’ coordination with US on Syria strikes

Russia could implement US proposals aiming to coordinate Moscow’s strikes in Syria with the Washington-led coalition, a Russian defence ministry spokesman said on Wednesday.

“The Russian defence ministry has answered the demands of the Pentagon and is examining in depth American proposals on coordinating operations carried out … against the terrorist group Islamic State on Syrian territory,” Russian news agencies cited Igor Konashenkov as saying.

“On the whole, these proposals could be put in place,” he said, adding: “We will for our part only try to clarify certain technical details which will be discussed today between Russian military defence experts and those from the Pentagon.”

US and Russian officials held discussions last week — at Russia’s request — on establishing measures to avoid accidents so warplanes flying over Syria would not be in the same place at the same time.

The so-called “deconfliction” talks came after Russia started bombing in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, further complicating the four-and-a-half-year conflict.

Russian jets carried out air strikes on 12 Islamic State sites in Syria on Tuesday, as Moscow expanded its week-old bombing campaign in the war-torn country amid mounting tensions with Ankara over the violation of Turkey’s airspace by Russian military planes.