Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Russia and the US to hold new air safety talks after ‘near miss’ in Syria

US Secretary of Defence, Ash Carter. US Secretary of Defence, Ash Carter. © US Department of Defence, Wikipedia

The US and Russia are going to hold new talks on air safety after planes from either side came too close to each other on Saturday October 14.

The aircraft were only 10 to 20 miles away from each other and the pilots involved had visual contact with the other planes.

Colonel Steve Warren, a US military spokesman, said that two US and two Russian aircraft “entered the same battle space” in skies over Syria on Saturday.

He added that aircraft from the Russian side had breached air patrols on numerous occasions and had been close to American drones.

The US and Russia will enter their third round of talks regarding Syria and safety in the air will be a priority. 

US Secretary of Defence Ash Carter spoke about the talks which are expected to be over video conference on Wednesday:

“Our talks... are very professional, they’re very constructive, and I expect them to lead in very short order to an agreement.”

Regarding the overall Russian strategy in Syria, however, he added that the Americans “are not able to associate ourselves more broadly with Russia’s approach in Syria because it is wrongheaded and strategically short sighted.”

The Russian defence ministry said it would be participating in the third video conference with what it called “updated proposals on Syria for the US.”

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