Friday, April 7, 2017

Russia Suspends Early-Warning Memorandum with the United States

US launched cruise missile against Syria last night.
In the wake of the US cruise missile attack on a military air base in Syria, Russia has suspended the 2015 memorandum of understanding between the two countries on air operations.

 Under the now-suspended pact, the two countries had traded information about flights by a U.S.-led coalition targeting the Islamic State and Russian planes operating in Syria in support of the Assad government. Moscow was taking its action, the Russian Defense Ministry said, because it sees the U.S. strike “as a grave violation of the memorandum.”

Russia was given only 60 to 90 minutes to evacuate its personnel from the attacked air base.

President Vladi­mir Putin’s spokesman said the risk of confrontation between aerial assets of the U.S.-led coalition and Russia has “significantly increased”

The so-called "deconfliction" channel that Russia suspended was established in 2015 to prevent mishaps, including collisions, after Russia deployed aircraft to a base along Syria’s Mediterranean coastline and began carrying out strikes on behalf of the Syrian regime. It calls for a U.S. colonel at an air base in Qatar and a Russian colonel to man a phone hotline and inform each other of where their countries’ planes are flying.


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