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US, Russia Pact on Syrian raids

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U.S. President Barack Obama

The US and Russia have signed an agreement to minimise the risk of clashes in Syrian airspace, says the Pentagon

U.S. President Barack Obama
U.S. President Barack Obama

The memo of understanding includes protocols for air crews in Syrian skies along with a ground communications link, according to US officials, Sky News reported.

The new pact doesn’t include zones of co-operation or sharing of target information, said Department of Defense spokesman Peter Cook.

Meanwhile, at least 45 people were killed and over a 100 others injured in airstrikes launched by Russian warplanes in Syria’s Latakia province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Tuesday.

SOHR director Abdel Rahman told EFE news that the Russian air force targeted several militant hideouts in Jabal al-Akrad area on Monday night.

The victims included civilians too, Rahman added.

Since October 8, the northern part of the province, where several Islamist-oriented rebel factions are located, has been the target of an offensive by the Syrian army with the support of Russian aircraft.

Russia began its bombing campaign on September 30, marking its first military intervention in the conflict in Syria since its start in March 2011.

Moscow insisted the text of the agreement remain secret, he added.

The US has been pursuing a technical agreement with the Russians on how both nations’ air forces can keep a safe distance from each other.