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US and Russian military talks Wednesday: Carter

14 october 2015, 15:58
0
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. ©AFP
US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. ©AFP

Military commanders from Russia and the United States will hold another round of talks Wednesday on how to stay out of each other's way in the skies over Syria, AFP reports.

US Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the latest "de-confliction" talks as jets from both countries pounded targets in the war-torn Middle Eastern country.

"Russia must act professionally in the skies over Syria and abide by basic safety procedures," Carter said in Boston after talks with his Australian counterpart.

"We'll have another conversation with the Russians tomorrow on this subject. Those discussions are progressing. Nothing has been finalized," he said. 

"Even as we continue to disagree on Syria policy, we should be able to at least agree on making sure our airmen are as safe as possible."

Carter would not put a time frame on the "de-confliction" talks, but added: "I expect that to conclude shortly."

And he warned the military-to-military dialogue would not lead to talks on Moscow's approach in Syria "because it is wrong-headed and strategically shortsighted."

Russia said Tuesday its air force had hit 86 "terrorist" targets in Syria in the previous 24 hours, including several linked to the Islamic State group.

Washington and its allies -- engaged in their own air war -- accuse Moscow of targeting moderate US-backed rebels and seeking to prop up Bashar al-Assad's regime.

But Putin hit back, criticizing Washington for refusing to share intelligence with Russia and accusing it of muddled thinking and a refusal to cooperate.


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