"During their talks, the counterparts exchanged opinions on the situation in Syria and fight against terrorism, as well as other pressing issues of mutual interest," the ministry said in a statement. Gerasimov and Dunford also reaffirmed the importance of maintaining the existing channel of communication, according to the statement.
US President Donald Trump has announced the start of the US troop withdrawal from the war-torn country, claiming that the Daesh terrorist group has been defeated, and since US troops were present in Syria exclusively to fight, they now had no reason to remain there.
Gerasimov also said in December that the Daesh militants in Syria are present only east of the Euphrates, on US-controlled territory, stressing that the so-called Daesh "sleeping" cells have progressed to active operations and begun to expand their zones of influence.
In November, US Department of Defense spokesman Eric Pahon told Sputnik that the more the Russian and US militaries in Syria talk to one another the better, and the existing conflict resolution channel has worked well.
Pahon said the established military-to-military channel has been working well, and there have not been any interruptions, but pointed out that the US military is prohibited from actually cooperating with Russia.
In August, The US government extended its ban against cooperating militarily with Russia in a bilateral format through 2019, according to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
The US-led coalition of more than 70 members has been conducting military operations against Daesh in Syria and Iraq since September 2014. The coalition’s activities in Syria are authorized neither by the Syrian government, nor by the UN Security Council.
Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist organization banned in Russia.