The United States and Russia have maintained an open communication channel after the American military’s downing of a Syrian warplane over the weekend, according to Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Dunford said Washington will work militarily and diplomatically in the coming hours to “re-establish de-confliction” with Moscow. The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier it would suspend cooperation with the United States and treat all “flying objects” operated by coalition forces west of the Euphrates River as “targets.”
“We have an effective link between our operations center in Qatar and the Russian Federation on the ground in Syria. That link is still ongoing here this morning,”Dunford said at a luncheon at the National Press Club in D.C. on Monday. “An incident occurred, we have to work through the incident, we have a channel to be able to do that and I think it’s going to require some diplomatic and military engagement in the next few hours to restore the de-confliction that we’ve had in place.”
Dunford said he had not yet spoken to his Russian counterpart and was awaiting the results of the U.S. military’s investigation into the incident before he did so.
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