June 19, 2017 / 3:36 PM / 2 years ago

May urges Russia to continue using "deconfliction" zone over Syria

Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, leaves after speaking outside 10 Downing Street, following the attack at Finsury Park Mosque, in central London, Britain June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

LONDON (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Theresa May called on Russia to continue the use of “deconfliction” measures over the skies of Syria to reduce the risk of misunderstandings in what is a crowded airspace.

Russia said on Monday it would treat U.S.-led coalition aircraft flying west of the River Euphrates in Syria as potential targets and track them with missile systems and military aircraft, but stopped short of saying it would shoot them down.

“There are deconfliction arrangements in place already in relation to activity that takes place over the skies of Syria and those deconfliction arrangements will continue,” May told reporters in Downing Street.

Her spokesman added that May called on Russia to continue to use these measures to “reduce the chance of misunderstandings over what is a crowded airspace”.

Reporting by William James and Kate Holton; Editing by Toby Chopra

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