U.S., Russian Officers Met Face-to-Face in Syria
Sept. 22, 2017 (EIRNS)—During a video-teleconference with reporters at the Pentagon, yesterday, Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for the U.S.-led anti-ISIS military coalition in Baghdad, revealed that U.S. coalition officers met face-to-face with Russian officers from Latakia to "adjust and expand" the existing deconfliction arrangements in Syria.
"The discussions emphasized the need to share operational graphics and locations to ensure that prevention of accidental targeting or other possible frictions that would distract from the defeat of ISIS,"
"We will continue to de-conflict with the Russians at every level to ensure that we remain focused on fighting ISIS, all while protecting coalition and our partner forces. To that end, our SDF partners continue their anti-ISIS clearance effort in the Deir ez-Zoir province, northeast of the Deir ez-Zoir city."
In response to questions, Dillon would not say exactly when and where the meeting with the Russians took place, only that it was recent and somewhere in the region. He underscored that the presence of Russian special forces in Deir Ezzor, "just increases the need for these de-confliction measures." He said, that the two sides
"had a face-to-face discussion, laid down maps and graphics to discuss where those de-confliction measures would be put into place so that, one, we don’t inadvertently, fire upon one another; number two, we can stay focused on ISIS; and three, we can continue to maintain support to our forces both from the air—to our forces on the ground, to make sure that they can continue their efforts to defeat ISIS."
He described it as an extension of the existing de-confliction line that runs southeast from Tabqa along the Euphrates River.
Dillon later indicated that the conflicting objectives of the SDF and the Syrian army were discussed
"during the face-to-face meeting, and continue to be points of discussion at all levels of the de-confliction line, both face to face and on the normal telephone lines that we’ve used in the past."