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    Army Gen. Joseph Votel speaks to reporters Saturday, May 21, 2016 during a secret trip to Syria

    CENTCOM Would Share Intelligence With Russians if White House Directs

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    The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) would surely share intelligence with Russia if it is ordered by the White House, according to US CENTCOM Commander Gen. Joseph Votel.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) would surely share intelligence with Russia if it is ordered by the White House, US CENTCOM Commander Gen. Joseph Votel said in an interview on Friday.

    "If we are directed, we certainly would," Votel told the Tampa Bay Times when asked whether he would be comfortable sharing intelligence with Russia if the White House said it wanted that.

    Votel pointed out that they currently do not share intelligence with Russia.

    "I'm not authorized to do that. That's not the nature of the relationship," he explained.

    On June 7, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced that experts from Russia, the United States and Jordan agreed on a memorandum to establish a de-escalation zone in Syria's southwest, which started on Sunday. Russia, Iran and Turkey signed a memorandum establishing four safe zones in Syria that went into force in May.

    Syria has been devastated by civil war for more than six years now, with government forces fighting opposition factions, including terrorist groups such as the Islamic State and the Nusra Front, both of which are outlawed in Russia.

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    Tags:
    intelligence sharing, CENTCOM, Joseph Votel, Russia, United States
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