November 3, 2015 / 5:49 PM / 2 years ago

Pentagon says U.S., Russia flights over Syria were no 'exercise'

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon downplayed an interaction between one U.S. fighter aircraft and one Russian fighter aircraft in the skies over Syria on Tuesday, describing it as a 3-minute-long test tied to newly agreed safety protocols and not a military exercise.

Russia, whose defense ministry had branded the interaction as a joint military exercise, agreed with the United States to safety protocols last month aimed at preventing an accidental clash over Syria as the former Cold War foes carry out parallel, bombing campaigns.

Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Susan Heavey

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