WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – The United States will not coordinate its operations in Syria with Russia as long as Moscow continues to give support to Syrian President Bashar Assad and gives a guarantee to the safety of US pilots operating in the area, US Army Defense Department spokeswoman Lt. Col. Michelle Baldanza said.
“The U.S. is not coordinating coalition activities in Syria with Russia. On October 1, DoD held a video conference with Russian defense officials on technical means to ensure the safety of our pilots. We are waiting for the Russian MoD to respond to our proposal,” Baldanza told RIA Novosti.
Washington has suspected Moscow of backing Assad and attacking government opposition forces instead of Islamic State militants.
“We are concerned that Russia is continuing to target non-extremists in Syria, demonstrating that they deem propping up the Assad regime as more important than countering ISIL. We have made clear that should Russia seek to focus on countering ISIL with its military activities, then we would welcome this as productive. However, as long as Russian military action is focused on supporting the Assad regime, we cannot and will not discuss any measure of cooperation,” Baldanza said.