U.S. ready to continue military talks with Russia on Syria

October 7, 2015 10:13 am 

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 — The United States is prepared to resume de-confliction talks with Russia on military operations in Syria, the State Department said Tuesday.

"We've seen over the last couple of days the danger that exists on the ground of accidental incursions," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said at a regular briefing. "So we need to absolutely engage with Russia on de-conflicting."

Toner noted that the U.S. Department of Defense said earlier Tuesday that it stands ready to meet with its Russian counterpart again "as soon as possible."

U.S. and Russian officials held discussions last week in a bid to set rules for air-to-air conduct over Syria. The talks came after Russia started on Wednesday airstrikes in Syria against the Islamic State (IS) targets, a move the U.S. says further complicates the four-and-a-half-year conflict in Syria.

On Tuesday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest also told reporters that he would not rule out that there are follow-ups "relatively soon" to the military-to-military conversations that took place last week.

Russia's Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov said Tuesday that the country's military is willing to expand cooperation with the U.S.-led coalition in Syria.

"We are firmly convinced that no country is able to cope with the common threat of terrorism alone, no matter how strong the United States, Britain, Germany and NATO are. That is why we are in favor of broader international cooperation," Antonov said according to a Defense Ministry meeting transcript.

He added that Russia is ready to share specific reconnaissance data about Islamic State positions and activities with the anti-IS coalition. (PNA/Xinhua)

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