Russia: Deal Reached With US to Resume 2015 Syria Air Agreement

Coordination Deal Designed to Prevent Mid-Air Collisions

Russian officials have announced that following a phone call between Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov and Gen. Joe Dunford, the United States and Russia will resume the terms of a joint memorandum signed in 2015 regarding coordination of warplanes over Syria.

The two joint chiefs were said to have also discussed the ongoing efforts to support the Astana ceasefire agreement and the peace process, though the US in practice is at best an ambivalent bystander on that deal, negotiated by Russia, Turkey, and Iran.

The 2015 memorandum was intended to provide some very basic safety for US and Russian warplanes operating in Syria, sharing enough information that the two nations’ planes don’t just slam into one another. During US escalation of tensions with Russia, officials increasingly had backed away from the deal.

Though the deal was mostly dead by the start of 2017, it was entirely scrapped last month when the US attacked a Syrian airbase, and Russia announced the withdrawal from it to express displeasure. Though minor, the deal has managed to keep the two airwars from conflicting with one another so far.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.