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Russia, US ink MoU to avoid deconfliction between their air forces over Syrian skies

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Russia and United States have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to avoid deconfliction and mid-air incidents between their air forces over Syrian skies. The MoU seeks to avoid direct clashes between both air forces in the skies over Syria. It also includes steps to be taken by pilots to avoid an inadvertent clash over Syria.

The text of the MoU has not been disclosed and remained secret but it has laid out means and protocols for both sides to communicate and establish a hotline on the ground. It also contains a number of rules and restrictions aimed at preventing incidents between American and Russian planes. However, both countries would not share intelligence on their targets.

The issue of military aircraft safety over the Syria began after Russia started bombing targets in the civil war torn country in September 2015 to target Islamic State (IS) militants. Russia entry was in the same battle space of US in the Syria created issue related to military aircraft safety and deconfliction.