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    Anti-ISIL airstrikes

    Russia, US to Hold Talks on Anti-ISIL Air Operations in Syria Over Weekend

    © AP Photo / Senior Airman Matthew Bruch, US Air Force
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    The Pentagon said that Russia and the United States are expected to hold military-to-military talks on Syria this weekend.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Russia and the United States are expected to hold military-to-military talks on Syria, where both countries have been carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State (ISIL) militants, this weekend, the Pentagon said.

    Pentagon spokesperson Peter Cook said on Friday that the US Department of Defense had received a formal response from Russia on the issue of ensuring safe air operations over Syria and was in the process of reviewing the response.

    According to Cook, Russia-US talks on the coordination of air operations in Syria "are likely to take place as soon as this weekend."

    Russian aircraft started carrying out precision airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria on September 30, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the airstrikes have done considerable damage to ISIL command and logistics networks, as well as to infrastructure used to equip suicide bombers.

    A US-led coalition has been targeting the positions of ISIL radicals in both Syria and Iraq since September 2014.

    On Wednesday, the Pentagon reported that the United States had taken steps to maintain a safe distance from Russian aircraft flying missions in the Syrian airspace.

    On Thursday, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed establishing mechanisms to avoid the two countries’ forces coming into conflict in Syria, but did not make any major decisions, according to US State Department spokesperson John Kirby.


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