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    Ex-State Department Official: US, Russia to Avoid Conflict Amid Syrian Crisis

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    Tensions Mount as Douma Provocation Triggers Syria Strike Threat (107)

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US and Russian militaries will do their best not to engage each other in Syria after they reached a certain level of professional cooperation, a former State Department official with Middle East expertise said.

    "My sense on a professional level is that the US and Russia both will do their best to avoid direct confrontation," Frederic Hof, a former special coordinator for regional affairs in the US Department of State's Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, told Sputnik.

    Moscow and Washington, he said, were pursuing different policy objectives in Syria. Despite this, they achieved over time a "level of professional cooperation" that will be tested. "But my sense is that it will pass that test," Hof added.

    US President Donald Trump threatened action on Syria this week in response to last Saturday's alleged chemical attack in the militant-held city of Douma that reportedly killed and injured civilians. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted Russia should get ready for a strike on Syria after Moscow reportedly vowed to shoot down missiles.

    Tensions Mount as Douma Provocation Triggers Syria Strike Threat (107)


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