"More dialogue could only be better," Pahon said. "We are talking with the Russians in the area… The more we talk and the more we are able to avoid miscalculation, the better."
"General Dunford has had communications with his counterpart on the mil-to-mil level. We haven't had any significant incidents between the coalition aircraft or Russian aircraft operating in the area. So, clearly we were able to deconflict our operations and that continues," Pahon said.
In August, The US government extended its ban against cooperating militarily with Russia in a bilateral format through 2019, according to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The prohibition, first enacted in the 2017 NDAA, says none of the funds authorized may be used for any bilateral military-to-military cooperation with Russia until Moscow implements the Minsk accords and returns Crimea to Ukrainian sovereignty.
However, the 2019 law adds a provision — missing from two previous NDAAs — that explicitly authorizes negotiations between Washington and Moscow.
The US-led coalition of more than 70 members has been conducting military operations against the Islamic State terrorist group in Syria and Iraq since September 2014. The coalition’s activities in Syria are authorized neither by the Syrian government, nor by the UN Security Council.