Voice of America reports that Russia was not warned about target strikes in Syria, despite the fact that the US military used conventional channels to avoid escalation.
The US Military Command utilized its so-called "deconfliction" communication line with Russia on Friday, the day prior to the launch of its operation against Syria. However, the US Command did not disclose which objects would be targeted by the coalition forces.
"We specifically identified these targets to mitigate the risk of Russian forces being involved, and we used our normal deconfliction channels -- those were active this week -- to work through the airspace issue and so forth," General Joseph Dunford, head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, said at a Pentagon briefing with his staff. "We did do not do any coordination with the Russians on the strikes, nor did we pre-notify them."
General Dunford’s statement serves as additional evidence of the extreme tension in bilateral relations between Washington and Moscow, the newspaper notes. Last year, on April 7, 2017 the US Military Command warned Russia of a missile strike against a Syrian government airbase just a few hours before the impending attack.
The United States and Russia organized the so-called ‘deconfliction’ communication line in October 2015 in order to prevent potential clashes between the military divisions of the two countries, which often operate in the same areas.
This time there were no warnings, General Dunford repeatedly stressed: "We did not coordinate targets or any plans with the Russians.”
According to Dunford, Russia did not suspect anything in advance.
On the night of Saturday, April 14, the United States, France and the United Kingdom dealt military strikes against Syria in response to President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians. A series of explosions occurred in Damascus immediately after US President Donald Trump’s emergency announcement.