dglobalnews.com General says Russian Federation almost bombed United States forces in Syria in ISIS fight
Published: Sat, March 04, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

General says Russian Federation almost bombed United States forces in Syria in ISIS fight

General says Russian Federation almost bombed United States forces in Syria in ISIS fight

USA officials say Syrian rebels fighting against ISIS were bombed by Russian planes.

Russian and Syrian regime forces mistakenly bombed United States-backed fighters in Syria Tuesday near the city of al-Bab, the top USA military commander overseeing anti-ISIS operations in Iraq and Syria said Wednesday. "Yet, they were actually - on the ground were some of our Syrian Arab Coalition forces".

Drone footage released by Russia's Defense Ministry earlier this month showed new damage ISIS had inflicted to the facade of Palmyra's Roman-era theater and the adjoining Tetrapylon - a set of four monuments with four columns each at the center of the colonnaded road leading to the theater. In doing so, the Russian Defense Ministry said, "To avoid any incidents, the USA representative has provided exact coordinates of the US-backed opposition forces in the region to a Russian officer". The SAC is the Arab component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a cohort of rebel groups that the United States backs.

Townsend confirmed that the Syrian Arab Coalition forces suffered casualties in the bombings.

The army and Iranian-backed militia advanced inside Palmyra on Thursday as Islamic State withdrew completely, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said.

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The jumbled mess of competing forces in and around al Bab has increased the likelihood of mistakes or miscalculations.

The U.S. and Russia created a hotline in 2015 between an American colonel in Qatar and a Russian colonel in Syria to prevent aerial collisions from occurring, but senior U.S. defense officials have not communicated directly with their Russian counterparts since 2014 due to legislation forbidding military cooperation with Russia in response to its annexation of the Crimea, the Washington Post reported Wednesday. Less than 20 miles from the Turkish border in northwest Syria, the area was taken from ISIS by Ankara-backed forces in January. -Russian military communications link set up during the Obama administration was used in response to the airstrikes that hit USA partner forces Tuesday.

"And so we worked out an arrangement, a deconfliction".

"This is something that goes on daily in the air", Townsend said, referencing deconfliction via the communications channel.

Russia's military involvement is a further complication, from the US point of view.

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