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US and Russia to resume talks on air safety over Syria

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By Euronews  with Reuters
US and Russia to resume talks on air safety over Syria

The US and Russia could resume talks on safety during air strikes over Syria as soon as this weekend, the Pentagon has announced.

With both countries currently carrying out separate campaigns, it’s hoped the renewed discussions will help avert an accidental clash.

A near miss?

The announcement comes days after US officials said they been forced to carry out at least one “safe separation” manoeuvre over Syria to ensure an aircraft didn’t fly too close to a Russian jet.

ISIL ‘closing in’

Washington has raised concerns over Moscow’s military involvement in the Middle-Eastern country, with Defence Secretary Ashton Carter calling the operations “fundamentally flawed.”

Russia says it is targeting ISIL positions. However, despite intensified air and sea campaigns, reports suggest the militant group is closing in on the northern city of Aleppo, having recently taken control of a number of villages nearby.

‘A shift in focus’

Meanwhile, the US State Department has explained its decision to stop training moderate Syrian rebels. Washington says the choice to simply equip leaders in the battlefield was merely a “shift in focus” towards proven methods previously deployed in other parts of Syria and Iraq.

Those provided with weapons will have to pass a US vetting process to ensure they don’t have ties to militant Islamist groups.