09:21 GMT08 August 2020
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    The commander of the Operation Inherent Resolve said Moscow had stopped accidental bombing of the US-led coalition's allies after a deconfliction call.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Russian forces in Syria ceased an accidental bombing of Syrian Arab Coalition fighters near Manbij on Tuesday after the United States made a call through the joint deconfliction channel, Operation Inherent Resolve commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said at a press briefing.

    "Some quick calls were made through our deconfliction channels and the Russians acknowledged and stopped bombing there," Townsend told reporters on Wednesday.

    The commander stressed that Russia likely believed the area was held by the outlawed Daesh militants, who had previously moved out ahead of an advance by Turkish partners.

    "Yesterday we had some Russian aircraft and regime aircraft bomb some villages that, I believe, they thought were held by ISIS [Daesh], yet they were actually — on the ground were some of our Syrian Arab Coalition forces," he said.

    US forces were about four or five kilometers (2.5-3 miles) away when they observed the incident and contacted their Russian counterparts.

    "We used that mechanism, and it worked," Townsend said.

    However, there were some casualties among the Syrian Arab Coalition, the commander added.

    The airstrikes took place in a village near al-Bab, 9-12 miles from Manbij where Syrian Arab Coalition fighters were on the ground.

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

    Since 2011, Syria has been engulfed in a civil war, with government forces fighting against numerous opposition and terrorist groups, including al-Nusra Front and Daesh, banned in a range of countries, including Russia.

    Moscow has been conducting a counter-terrorist campaign in Syria since September 30, 2015, at President Bashar Assad's request.


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    Operation Inherent Resolve, The Syrian war, Stephen Townsend, Manbij, Syria, United States, Russia
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