Russia, US agree on all technical questions over Syria flight safety - Russian military

A Russian Su-34 fullback bomber jet © Dmitriy Vinogradov
Russia’s Defense Ministry said that it will soon sign an agreement on flight safety over Syria with Pentagon after the sides agreed on all the necessary technical issues.

"All technical matters have already been agreed upon, with Russian and US lawyers now cross checking the text of the document," Colonel-General Andrey Kartapolov told a media briefing on Friday.

According to Kartapolov, the memorandum on flight safety over Syria will be signed by Moscow and Washington “in the very near future."

The Defense Ministry and Pentagon have already held three video-conferences discussing the agreement, he added.

This will provide conditions for the prevention of specific situations that might cause some kind of an accident in the Syrian airspace during air operations by the Russia and the coalition partners,” Kartapolov stressed.

He also repeated that Moscow is ready to extend cooperation on avoiding conflict in the skies over Syria with the US and all other concerned parties.

Kartapolov also said that the Defense Ministry has established direct contact with the Turkish military to avoid incidents with Russian flights near the Turkish border.

Earlier on Friday, the Turkish military said it had shot down an unmanned aircraft on the Syrian border.

All Russian military planes have safely returned to base in Syria after combat missions, with all drones operating as planned, Moscow said after the Turkish announcement.

A hotline between a Russian Air Force base in Syria and the Israeli Air Force command center has also been established in order to coordinate flights over Syria, the spokesman stressed.

On Thursday and Friday, the Russians and the Israelis held joint training to avoid incidents in Syrian airspace, Kartapolov added.

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