Informing Russia to Protect US Commandos

The US informed Russia of the “geographic region” where special operations forces are deployed in Syria as a request to avoid any air strikes around the region, telling the country more detail than it’s publicly announced about the presence of American troops in Syria. The “highest level” of the Defense Department made the request to the Russian Ministry of Defense out of an “abundance of caution” to keep the special operations forces safe, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said Thursday. The US has repeatedly said it is not coordinating with the Russians on operations in Syria, outside of the memorandum of understanding on flight operations. Cook said the DOD did not provide specific locations to the Russians. The US and Russia routinely speak on airspace safety, though the US doesn’t “have any assurances” from the country, said Lt. Gen. Charles Brown, commander of US Air Forces Central Command, on Thursday. Russia has repeatedly requested detail about US operations, but the coalition has not disclosed anything other than what is needed for basic flight safety, Brown said.