US re-routes planes to avoid clashing with Russia

US re-routes its aircraft to avoid any possible clashes in Syria, says Pentagon spokesman

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US F-18 jets

Updated Oct 8, 2015

A Pentagon spokesman has said that US-led coalition aircraft hitting ISIS militants in Syria have changed their routes at least once in the last six days to keep away from a possible conflict with Russian airplanes.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said, "We’ve had an instance at least where there’s been action taken to make sure we didn’t have an unsafe seperation of space."

"We have had to do re-routing of the course of an airplane."

Davis said that the incident happened after an October 1 video conference between Russia and US military officials focusing on ways to keep both country's aircraft away from possible conflicts as they conduct parallel military campaigns against ISIS.

He did not give any further details, such as whether the aircraft was a jet or a drone.

On September 30 Russian warplanes began launching air strikes on rebel positions in northern and western Syria, though the country announced that the aim of the air strikes was targeting bastions belonging to ISIS, which controls large swathes of eastern part of Syria and western Iraq.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday that Russian air strikes pounded opposition held area in the province of Hama in the West and nearby areas in the neighbouring province of Idlib.

According to Al Jazeera, dozens were killed in separate Russian air strikes in the northern city of Aleppo on Wednesday and Tuesday. The Russian air strikes targeted the rebel held neighbourhood of Rashedeen, on the outskirts of Aleppo.

Russia and Iran have been backing the Syrian regime since the beginning of the four-year war in Syria which has claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people. Half of the country’s population are displaced internally or in the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq and also in Europe where more than 350,000 Syrians have claimed asylum.

TRTWorld and agencies