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    Civil defence members move an injured man on a stretcher after what activists said was an airstrike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad on the town of Douma, eastern Ghouta of Damascus September 19, 2015

    US-Russia Talks Vital to Avoid Conflict in Syria - Former DoD Official

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    The United States and Russia engaging in dialogue is important for deconflicting military activities in Syria, former Pentagon official Steven Bucci told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US-led coalition against the Islamic State, consisting of 62 nations, has been conducting airstrikes in Syria since September 2014, albeit without UN Security Council authorization or approval by the Syrian government.

    This undated photo released Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2015, file photo, on a social media site used by Islamic State militants, which has been verified and is consistent with other AP reporting, shows smoke from the detonation of the 2,000-year-old temple of Baalshamin in Syria's ancient caravan city of Palmyra
    © AP Photo / Islamic State social media account via AP, File

    "It would be a mistake to not deconflict the respective air operations," Bucci explained on Wednesday. "You do it by talking to each other."

    US and Russian military officials might begin holding urgent discussions to deconflict air operations in Syria as soon as Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry said during a joint press briefing with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the UN on Wednesday evening.

    Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian upper house of parliament unanimously approved President Vladimir Putin’s request to deploy the Russian Air Force to launch airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria.

    The Kremlin noted that Putin made his request to the Russian parliament at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    Following Russia’s decision, Kerry said that Washington would welcome Moscow’s contribution to fight the Islamic State if its military campaign was "genuine," and not aimed at only helping Assad.

    Steven Bucci is Director of National Security Policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, DC. He is a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and a retired US Special Forces commander and previously served as a military assistant to former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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