02:36 GMT29 November 2020
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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)

    The US Department of Defense does not plan to conduct joint anti-Daesh operations in Syria, Defense Spokesperson Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner said at a press briefing on Tuesday that Washington coordinated with the SDF in efforts to reclaim Raqqa, but declined to elaborate whether it was cooperating with Russia in the liberation campaign.

    "We are not currently planning any joint military operations with Russia," Baldanza said late Tuesday.

    The spokesperson said the Pentagon "continue[s] to use" the existing memorandum of understanding with the Russian Defense Ministry to ensure flight safety in Syrian airspace. She added that Washington holds regular interagency discussions with Russia and other partners in supporting the cessation of hostilities.

    Russian Air Force's long-range aircraft hit ISIS targets in Syria
    Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation
    Russian Air Force's long-range aircraft hit ISIS targets in Syria

    "We note Russia's focus on attacking Daesh in Syria following the implementation of the Cessation of Hostilities," Baldanza stressed.

    Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched an operation Tuesday to recapture the city of Raqqa, under Daesh control since 2013, with US backing. The SDF said they were ready to coordinate activities both with Russia and the United States.

    In response, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was prepared to coordinate efforts with the US-led coalition and the SDF to liberate the Daesh stronghold. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu issued a similar call for joint airstrikes against the Nusra Front in Syria late last week.

    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)


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