Russia, US signed deal to avoid clashes between their air forces over Syrian skies

Oct 21, 2015 13:00 IST

Russia and United StatesRussia and United States on 20 October 2015 inked a Memorandum of Mutual Understanding (MoU) on preventing incidents and providing for aviation flights during operations in Syria. It was signed between the Defense Ministries of Russia and the United States.

The agreement was signed to avoid clashes between their air forces in the skies over Syria and provide smooth operation of the two nations’ aircrafts and for mutual aid in critical situations.

The agreement included coalition aircraft; coalition members include Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

Russian began air strikes in Syria on 30 September 2015, saying it was targeting Islamic State militants. The US said that in the third week of October planes of both nations entered the same battle space and came within miles of each other.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the text of the deal would remain secret at Moscow's request, but that it laid out means for both sides to communicate and establish a hotline on the ground. The two countries would not, however, share intelligence on their targets.

Russia's Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov said the memorandum contains a number of rules and restrictions aimed at preventing incidents between American and Russian planes.

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