"Now in these cases they fight ISIS [Daesh], so to the extent that they are doing that, that is, I would admit, helpful to what we are doing," Votel stated when commenting on Russia’s operations in Syria.
The commander claimed that during operations in Syria Russia had been mostly focused on helping the government of President Bashar Assad accomplish some of their objectives in the western part of the country.
"Russia has achieved probably many of the objectives that they set out to pursue as they got in there," Votel stated.
He claimed some of the objectives included access to ports and air fields in the country, as well as increasing influence in the region.
Moreover, the US wants to make the deconfliction channel with Russia for operations in Syria more robust, Votel added.
"We do share a very congested airspace with the Russians. We have a deconfliction mechanism in place…We are looking to make that a little bit more robust to ensure that we continue our freedom of action here," Votel said in a testimony at the US House Armed Services Committee.