WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Russia has been conducting airstrikes against ISIL radicals in Syria at the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad, while a US-led international coalition has been targeting ISIL positions in the country without the permission of Damascus or the United Nations.
"We have pretty good connectivity with the Russians," Lt. Gen. Charles Brown Jr. told Air Force Times on Wednesday, adding that the memorandum of understanding signed by the US-led coalition and Russia stipulates that there should be no "hostile acts or hostile intent from the coalition toward the Russians or from the Russians toward the coalition."
Brown admitted that communication between Russia and the US-led coalition on the subject of military action in Syria is conducted mostly to ensure flight safety and there is practically no coordination or cooperation, however, both sides are interested in defeating ISIL.
"Yes, it [Russia’s S-400 deployment] does complicate things a little bit, and we’ll put some thought to it, but we still have a job to do here, and we’re going to continue to do that job – to defeat Daesh [ISIL]," Brown told Air Force Times.
The Russian Defense Ministry declared after the incident that all Russian bombers operating in Syria will now be flying only under the cover of fighter aircraft.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on Wednesday that Russia was going to send its S-400 Triumf (SA-21 Growler) missile systems to the Khmeimim Air Base in Syria.
The S-400, an upgrade of the S-300 Growler family, is a new-generation anti-aircraft defense system operated solely by the Russian military. The S-400 ensures air defense using long- and medium-range missiles that can hit aerial targets at ranges of up to 400 kilometers (almost 250 miles).