Defense Department News

U.S., Russian Officials Continue Talks on Syrian Airspace

Nov. 3, 2016

Defense Department officials today participated in a video conference with their Russian counterparts to discuss the safety of flight in Syria, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said in a statement following the discussions.

The conference was co-chaired by Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Elissa Slotkin and Army Maj. Gen. Richard D. Clarke, the Joint Staff’s vice director of strategic plans and policy, with Russian Ministry of Defense counterparts, Cook said.

U.S., Russian Dialogue

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, Cook said.

Cook said department officials discussed recent events related to flight safety in Syria since the two sides last met on Sept. 22. The conversation was constructive, he said, noting the two sides reiterated the need to adhere 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, Cook said.