US will work to restore deconfliction channel with Russia in Syria

Washington: The United States will work to restore the deconfliction channel with Russia in Syria that Moscow suspended after Washington's forces downed a Syrian warplane, an official said here.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

At a luncheon in Washington, Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,  said that the United States would work both by diplomatic and military channels to re-establish the line of communications to avoid confrontations and reduce tensions, adding that there are still ways to avoid clashes although the United States and coalition forces can fully defend themselves, Efe news reported.

"I'm confident that we are still communicating between the coalition operations centre and the Russian operations centre," he said adding,"I think the worst thing any of us could do would be to address this with hyperbole."

The chairman noted that Washington's main objective in Syria is to destroy the Islamic State, something that Russia has also said is central to its own strategy in Syria, where it is defending the interests of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Over the weekend, a US Navy F-18 shot down a Syrian SU-22 fighter-bomber that had bombarded rebel Syrian Democratic Forces, who are US allies and who are participating in the allied offensive to liberate Raqqa from the Islamic State.

Russia said that the shootdown incident was a "cynical violation of Syria's sovereignty".

Dunford said that if Russia is serious about eliminating the Islamic State, it should understand that it is necessary to work to reduce tensions in Syria, where the United States has increased its presence by deploying elite ground forces.


Published Date: Jun 20, 2017 12:15 pm | Updated Date: Jun 20, 2017 12:15 pm

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