U.S. ‘dismissive’ over Russia’s ban on aircraft over ‘exclusion zones’ in Syria

U.S. ‘dismissive’ over Russia’s ban on aircraft over ‘exclusion zones’ in Syria
Putin confers with his senior military officials. (Image: Kremlin/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin via Newsweek)

[Ed. – I’m not sure “dismissive” is the right word.  But the vibe being conveyed is certainly “confident about not paying the Russian ban much attention.”  I don’t expect our forces to get in Russia’s face over this.  But I also don’t think Russia will actually try to shoot our aircraft down.  Given the general geographic separation that already obtains for the factions in Syria, it should be possible a good 70% of the time to get the job done without pressing the issue.  The most likely area of confrontation is presumably from about Deir Ez-Zor to the Manbij-Jarabulus area.]

A Russian envoy said U.S. aircraft are barred from flying over the “de-escalation zones” that Russia, Iran and Turkey recently agreed to establish in Syria, but U.S. officials dismissed the admonition as it continues operations to target Islamic State.

The disagreement left deeply uncertain the status of the zones that were established this week without explicit U.S. consent during talks on Syria in Kazakhstan.

Alexander Lavrentiev, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s envoy for Syria, didn’t indicate what role Russian aircraft would have in enforcing the no-fly rule. The ban also applies to aircraft of the U.S.-led international coalition fighting the Islamic State militants, said the envoy,

“From this time forward, these zones are closed for their flights…with or without notification,” Mr. Lavrentiev was quoted as saying in the Kazakh capital Astana, where Russia, Iran and Turkey signed a memorandum on Thursday to create at least four safe zones across Syria.

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