Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Breaking News: Russia, US Sign Deconfliction Deal

Russia and the US have signed an agreement regulating the operations of the two countries' air forces in Syria. The deal is aimed at preventing incidents and providing for the smooth operation of the two nations' aircraft, and for mutual aid in critical situations.
The agreement, whose full name is "The Memorandum of Mutual Understanding between the Defense Ministries of Russia and the United States on preventing incidents and providing for aviation flights during operations in Syria" is hailed as a 'positive step', the Russian Defense Ministry said in a press release.
The document "has important practical value. It regulates the actions of manned and unmanned aircraft in the airspace above Syria. The Memorandum contains a set of rules and limitations aimed at preventing incidents between the air forces of Russia and the US," the Defense Ministry says.
As soon as the agreement comes into force, there will be 24/7 communication channels established between the Russian and American military commanders. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, its US counterparts have pledged to convey the agreement's details to their anti-Islamic State coalition partners, so that they, too, follow the rules it sets.
The signing of the Memorandum "shows a high potential for cooperation between Russia and the US, including in the fight against terrorism".
However, the Defense Ministry stresses that the Memorandum is strictly "military and technical" and it's signing does not change Russia's principal position, which is that "its military is acting in Syria at the request of the legitimate authorities, whereas the use of force in one country's territory by another country without its authorities' agreement or a ruling by the UN Security Council is against international law."
Russia’s Defense Ministry is urging the Pentagon to conduct joint efforts to rescue any pilots downed in Syria, but the US military forces seem reluctant to cooperate, the ministry’s spokesman, Igor Konashenkov, said while commenting on the new agreement, RIA Novosti reports. 
“First of all, we are talking about rescue operations of any pilot involved in military commitment in Syria. This won’t be a matter of hours or even minutes but of seconds and the pilot's life will depend on our teamwork.”
“Unfortunately, our western colleagues still don’t appreciate the full gravity of the situation,” Konashenkov added.
Russia has been conducting a campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria for three weeks now. Daily reports from the Defense Ministry indicate dozens of IS targets have been hit, including weapon and ammunition depots, supply and communication lines, headquarters and command posts. The bombing campaign has been timed together with the Syrian army's push against ISIS terrorists.
Washington has been accusing Russia of hitting non-terrorist targets, including those belonging to so-called “moderate” rebels whom the US supports in the fight against Syria's President Bashar Assad. Russian officials, including the president and the foreign minister, have repeatedly said the goal of the airstrikes is to combat terrorism, not help Assad reassert his power.


  1. This is a huge mistake on he part of the Russians. The U.S. will use this to legitimise their bombing of Syria and will not abide by any commitments they have made in the agreement.

    There is nothing to be gained in making a deal with a liar. You can only lose.

    1. The US is already implying this agreement is no good
      big surprise, right?

  2. Syrian intelligence reports influx of mercenaries into terrorist ranks

    October 20, 19:57 UTC+3
    Foreign mercenaries are arriving in Syria's Idlib province

    MOSCOW, October 20 /TASS/. A huge number of foreign mercenaries is arriving in the Syrian province of Idlib to fight the government troops on the side of the militants, the Russian Defense Ministry reported on its website on Tuesday referring to Syrian reconnaissance data.

    "The chieftains of terrorist groups are trying to recoup the losses which were sustained in battles against the Syrian troops or occurred as a result of militants’ desertion from the frontline. According to the Syrian reconnaissance information, a huge number of foreign mercenaries is arriving in Idlib province," the Russian Defense Ministry said.

    1. thanks- so the NATO allies just can't keep ISIS out of Syria yet?
      When will they ever ;)

  3. Hi Penny,

    Thus far, despite the Russian air force giving the rebels a bloody nose, there hasn't been too much change on the ground. This, and the apparent influx of new rebels from Turkey, may not be such a bad thing as there will be more rat meat in the Syrian / Russian meat grinder.

    Now, there are strong signs that Syria will soon liberate the Kuweyres air base to the east of Aleppo. Syrian ground forces are literally just a couple of kilometres away in the town of Shekh Ahmad. This will be a massive morale boost for the Syrians and a kick in the teeth for the rebels.

    ** One of the big news items of the past couple of days is the Russian intention to increase air sorties from the current 60 to 80 up to about 300 per day.




    1. Thanks Anthony- I've been busy so appreciate the updates
      Hoping they get the airbase liberated? Soon.