American and Russian defense officials Saturday discussed — through video conference — what steps to take for de-confliction and safe separation of US-led coalition against the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) takfiri group and the Russian fighter jets flying over Syria, a Pentagon spokesman said.
“The discussions were professional and focused narrowly on the implementation of specific safety procedures,” Peter Cook said. “Progress was made during the talks, and the US agreed to another discussion with Russia in the near future.”
The video conference session, which lasted approximately 90 minutes, has been the second since Moscow began airstrikes inside Syria on Sept. 30.
The first was on Oct. 1st but since then the US and Russian jets flied too close to one another more than once, according to the Pentagon.
Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman told reporters last week the US had to re-route its aircraft in order to avoid any mishap, stressing the urgent need for American and Russian officials to handle de-confliction.
The Defense Department also has received a formal response from the Russian Ministry of Defense regarding the US proposal to ensure safe air operations over Syria, according to Cook.
“Department leaders are reviewing the Russian response, and talks could take place as soon as this weekend,” he said.