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Iran Press TV

Russia, US sign Syria airspace coordination agreement

Iran Press TV

Tue Oct 20, 2015 9:41PM

Russia and the United States have officially signed a coordination memorandum based on which the two countries' aircraft and drone flights over Syria will be regulated.

'We undoubtedly consider the signing of such a document as an important step of practical significance,' Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Tuesday.

After the agreement's implementation, 24/7 communication will be established between Russian and American military commanders. The Russian Defense Ministry added that the US has vowed to coordinate the memorandum's implementation with its partners in the war against the Daesh Takfiri terrorists.

"It regulates the actions of manned and unmanned aircraft in the airspace above Syria. The memorandum contains a set of rules and limitations aimed at preventing incidents between the air forces of Russia and the US,' the Defense Ministry said.

Following the announcement, the Russian Defense Ministry stressed that Russia has been coordinating all of its strikes with the Syrian airspace authorities.

'All other manned and unmanned military aircraft are present in Syrian airspace without prior coordination and with transponders switched off,' he said.

He added that the agreement is strictly a technical and military document, which does not change principles concerning the fact that "its military is acting in Syria at the request of the legitimate authorities, whereas the use of force in one country's territory by another country without its authorities' agreement or a ruling by the UN Security Council is against international law.'

On Friday, the head of the Russian General Staff's Main Operations Department, Colonel General Andrei Kartapolov, announced that the two country's militaries had reached an agreement on all technical issues on safe flights over the war-torn Arab country.

Before the agreement was reached, three video conferences were held between the two countries over the preparation of the memorandum.

Russia began its military campaign against terrorists in Syria on September 30 upon a request from the Damascus government, shortly after the upper house of the Russian parliament gave President Vladimir Putin the mandate to use military force in Syria.

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