US, Russian chief military leaders discuss Syria operations

Chief military leaders discuss 'deconfliction of Coalition and Russian operations in Syria,' Pentagon says

U.S. General Joseph Dunford (left) and Russian General Valery Gerasimov

Top generals from the U.S. and Russia addressed a host of issues Monday, including ongoing operations in Syria.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. met with Chief of the Russian General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov in Vienna, Austria as both countries continue military operations in the war-torn country.

“Both leaders recognize the importance of maintaining regular communication to avoid miscalculation and to promote transparency and deconfliction in areas where our militaries are operating in close proximity,” Joint Chiefs spokesman Col. Patrick Ryder said in a statement.

“The two military leaders discussed the deconfliction of Coalition and Russian operations in Syria, and exchanged views on the state of U.S.-Russia military relations and the current international security situation in Europe and other key topics,” Ryder added.

Russian Defense Ministry said the two generals also discussed the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty and the New START Treaty.

In a statement, the ministry called the meeting “constructive.”

In addition to Syria, the U.S. and Russia are at loggerheads after Washington exited the bilateral ballistic missile treaty over alleged violations of the pact by Moscow.

The 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty pact is set to expire in August — six months after the U.S.’s pullout.

Russia announced Monday it is formally suspending its participation in the agreement until the U.S. returns or until it expires.

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