US needs more talks with Russia on deconfliction in Syria – Commander

By on February 25, 2017


WASHINGTON—The US military needs to have more elevated talks with Russia on deconflicting operations in Syria, US Air Forces Central Command commander Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian stated.

“Our perspective has been that there needs to be another layer that allows us to have a more senior-level discussion, and we’ve got to work through where that layer is,” Harrigian was quoted as saying by the Washington Post on Thursday.

The commander noted that the United States and Russia have had some “conflicting operational desires” in Syria.

“Did we miss targets? I can’t say that for sure, but I would tell you that optimally we would have gone after that in a different manner,” Harrigian stated.

Central Command spokesman Col. John Thomas said the US military has urged an upgrade of equipment used for communications with Russian counterparts.

At present, the technology consists of “little more than a commercial phone line,” Thomas told the newspaper, adding that enhancements would improve safety.

“That’s certainly a big reason for considering making the communication more robust,” he added.

The United States and Russia signed a bilateral memorandum of understanding in October 2015 to ensure flight safety during combat missions over Syria.