Russia denies fault at close calls with U.S. warplanes in Syria

Dong Zhaohui

MOSCOW, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The Russian Defense Ministry on Wednesday denied accusations by the U.S. military that Russian pilots practised dangerous exercises close to the U.S.-led coalition's warplanes in Syria.

The U.S. Air Force and international coalition aircraft were trying to act discreetly during operations in Syria without notifying the Russian side, the ministry's spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.

Brig. Gen. Charles Corcoran, commander of the U.S. 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, accused Russian pilots in a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal of not emitting identifying signals amid alleged close calls over Syria, thus violating international agreements.

According to Konashenkov, neither Corcoran nor other Pentagon officials had raised these concerns with the Russian Defense Ministry at regular video conferences on incident prevention.



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