January 28, 2016 / 6:59 PM / 2 years ago

U.S., Russian defense officials discuss air safety over Syria: Pentagon

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senior U.S. and Russian defense officials held a video conference on Thursday to discuss military air safety over Syria as the two sides carry out separate air strikes targeting rebel forces in the country, the Pentagon said.

A frame grab taken from footage released by Russia's Defence Ministry December 25, 2015, shows air strikes carried out by Russia's air force hitting militants' vehicles, which, according to the ministry, carried oil, at an unknown location in Syria. REUTERS/Russian Defence Ministry/Handout via Reuters/Files

“The two sides discussed measures to enhance operational safety ... including the means to avoid accidents and unintended confrontation between coalition and Russian forces whenever the two sides operate in close proximity,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement.

The two countries approved a memorandum of understanding on flight safety over Syrian airspace last year. They discussed implementation issues in a video conference in October.

Reporting by David Alexander; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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