This statement comes as a response to an earlier report by the Wall Street Journal, which cited Brig. Gen. Charles Corcoran, the commander of the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, alleging that Russian planes in Syria came close to US aircraft despite a US-Russian agreement which was signed in October 2015 to mitigate incidents in Syrian airspace. Russian aviators are ostensibly "either unaware of the rules of the road or unable or unwilling to follow them consistently," the newspaper asserted.
"Russian pilots regularly remind the US pilots and other pilots of the coalition in the skies above Syria that they are not alone or invisible there," Maj. Gen. Konashekov said. "At the same time, our pilots are very professional, observing all safety precautions."
He further noted that during the regular video conferences with the Russian Ministry of Defense, the US did not raise this issue.
"It is difficult to understand whether the statements made by General Corcoran are his honest opinion or if he, like many others, was used by the outgoing US administration in the course of their farewell Russophobic spectacle," Maj. Gen. Konashekov said.
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