US Spokesman: Russian Claim of Syria Coordination 'Rubbish'

In this photo provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service shows Russian air force Tu-22M3 bombers strike the Islamic State targets in Syria, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)
In this photo provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service shows Russian air force Tu-22M3 bombers strike the Islamic State targets in Syria, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

The U.S. says Russia's claim that its warplanes flew a joint mission over Syria with the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State group is "rubbish."

Russia's Defense Ministry said Monday its forces in Syria had received coordinates of IS targets near al-Bab on Sunday "from the U.S. side via hotline with the international coalition headquarters."

U.S. Air Force Col. John Dorrian, a coalition spokesman, almost immediately labeled the Russian claim as propaganda.

U.S. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. does have routine "deconfliction" talks with Russia to avoid unintended aerial incidents in Syria's crowded skies. But Davis says there have been no changes to that arrangement, and the U.S. has insisted for months that it has no coordination or sharing of targets with Russia.

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