A Russian ship launches a cruise missile at an ISIS depot inside Syria. Screenshot from Russian Ministry of Defense video.
The US and Russia communicated via the established deconfliction line in advance of Russia’s large cruise missile strike on ISIS depots inside Syria, the coalition said Friday.
Russia fired six Kalibr cruise missiles from the frigates Admiral Essen, Admiral Grigorovich, and the Krasnodar submarine “on the targets of the IS terrorist group in Syria,” Russian state media reported Friday. Russia also notified Turkey and Israel about the missiles.
The deconfliction line, which Russia said earlier in the week it was no longer supporting, was open and in use before and during the time period that the strikes were launched, said Army Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, during a Friday briefing. ??
“I will say that the deconfliction line is in use, and it is in use to make sure that we deconflict our actions and make sure that our air crews and ground crews are safe,” Dillon said.
Russia previously said it was pulling its support from the communications line, and would also treat any coalition aircraft flying west of the Euphrates River as a “target” to be tracked by air defense systems. Despite this, US and coalition aircraft “continue to operate throughout the west of Syria.”
On June 22, coalition aircraft carried out 28 strikes, with 49 engagements, against ISIS targets throughout Syria. One of these strikes destroyed four ISIS tunnel entrances near the city of Palmyra, which is located west of Syria. Additional strikes hit Raqqa, taking out more than a dozen ISIS tactical units and 12 fighting positions, according to US Central Command.