U.S.-Russian Officials Conduct Video Conference on Syrian Airspace Safety

Feb. 8, 2017 , DOD News

Senior Defense Department and Russian officials held a video conference today to discuss flight safety to mitigate possible incidents in the skies over Syria, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said in a statement.

The video conference, Davis said, was co-chaired by Ken Handelman, performing the duties of assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, and Navy Rear Adm. Michael J. Dumont, deputy director for strategic initiatives, Joint Staff J5 (Strategic Plans and Policy), with Russian Ministry of Defense counterparts.

This was the latest session of the department’s dialogue with the Russian Ministry of Defense under the memorandum of understanding for the safety of flight in Syria to ensure that each side continues to adhere to agreed-upon measures to mitigate incidents in the air over Syria, the spokesman said.

Department officials discussed ongoing work regarding the safety of operations since the two sides last met, Davis said. The two sides reiterated the utility of adhering to the memorandum of understanding to avoid accidents and misunderstandings in the air space over Syria.

Today's meeting follows previous video conferences between the Department of Defense and the Russian Ministry of Defense on this topic, the spokesman said.