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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

4 Russian fighter jets arrive in Syria: Pentagon

Iran Press TV

Fri Sep 18, 2015 8:41PM

The Pentagon has confirmed that four Russian fighter jets had arrived in Syria and were stationed at an airfield near Latakia.

One US official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Reuters on Friday that there were four Russian jets at the airfield.

A second official, who also talked to Reuters, confirmed the report, but declined to offer an exact figure.

This came as the US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu renewed high-level military talks on the telephone on the same day to discuss mechanisms in order to avoid accidental encounters between their forces in Syria.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said that 'the secretary and the minister talked about areas where the United States and Russia's perspectives overlap and areas of divergence.'

Also, Russian defense ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said 'the necessity to coordinate bilateral and multilateral efforts to combat international terrorism was at the center of attention.'

The United States has expressed concern about Russia's moves to support the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad's fights against the Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

Russia has reportedly sent artillery units and tanks as well as dozens of personnel to Syria. At least seven giant Russian Antonov An-124 military transport aircrafts took off from a base in Russia during the past week to transport equipment to Syria, using Iranian and Iraqi air corridors.

About 200 Russian marines and six Russian howitzers now guard the air base in Latakia, according to American intelligence.

Moscow and Washington have had major differences over the crisis in Syria. While the Kremlin lends support to Damascus in its fight against Daesh (ISIL), the White House seeks a "political transition" without President Assad in the picture.

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