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Monday, January 23

(UPDATED 3:30pm EST- Pentagon Denial) US GIVES RUSSIA COORDINATES ON ISLAMIC STATE LOCATION FOR FIRST TIME AND CONDUCTS JOINT STRIKES WITH RUSSIA, TURKEY - BREAKING NEWS

UPDATE
US military is 'not coordinating airstrikes with Russia in Syria', Pentagon says
By Spencer Ackerman
Monday 23 January 2017 14.19 EST 
Last modified on Monday 23 January 2017 14.40 EST
The Guardian

The Pentagon has flatly denied a Russian government claim that both nations’ warplanes conducted a joint combat mission in Syria.

On Monday, the Russian defense ministry claimed to have received coordinates of Islamic State positions via a US-Russian communications channel, and that two jets from the US-led coalition participated in a strike alongside Russian aircraft.

But the Pentagon, now helmed by Trump’s appointee James Mattis, issued a round denial of the Russian account.

“The Department of Defense is not coordinating airstrikes with the Russian military in Syria,” said spokesman Eric Pahon, who added that he was not aware of any coalition member aiding Russia in this instance.

The White House, however, signaled it was open in principle to joint military strikes with Russia in Syria.

The press secretary, Sean Spicer, said Trump would “work with any country that shares our interest in defeating Isis”, saying the inclination applied to “Russia or anyone else”.

[...]
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Sputnik has published, without comment, a short report on the Pentagon denial. Below are the two earlier Sputnik reports today on the coordination/joint strikes:
END UPDATE

BREAKING NEWS
Russia Receives Daesh Coordinates in Al Bab From US
19:50 - 23.01.2017 (updated 20:03 23.01.2017)
Sputnik

Russia has received coordinates of Daesh targets in Al Bab, Aleppo Province, from the US for the first time, the Russian Defense Ministry said Monday.

The United States has provided coordinates of the terrorists' targets in the city of Al Bab in Aleppo province for Russia-coalition airstrikes. After the reconnaissance check, Russia and Turkey conducted joint airstrike on the Daesh targets in the region. [See second report, below]

"On January 22, the Russian command center at the Hmeymim airbase has received coordinates of the Daesh targets in Al Bab, Aleppo province, via 'direct line' from the US-led coalition headquarters. 
After further data verification with unmanned aircraft assistance and space reconnaissance, the Russian air forces and two jets of the international coalition have conducted airstrikes on the terrorists' targets," the statement said.

DETAILS TO FOLLOW

[END REPORT]

BREAKING NEWS
Sputnik has published, without comment, a short report on the Pentagon denial. Here are links to the two earlier Sputnik reports today on the coordination/joint strikes

Russia Receives Daesh Coordinates in Al-Bab From US

Russian, Turkish Warplanes Conduct Joint Op Against Daesh in Syria's Al-Bab


I have no idea which side is telling the truth.  


US military is 'not coordinating airstrikes with Russia in Syria', Pentagon says
By Spencer Ackerman
Monday 23 January 2017 14.19 EST
Last modified on Monday 23 January 2017 14.40 EST
The Guardian

The Pentagon has flatly denied a Russian government claim that both nations’ warplanes conducted a joint combat mission in Syria.

On Monday, the Russian defense ministry claimed to have received coordinates of Islamic State positions via a US-Russian communications channel, and that two jets from the US-led coalition participated in a strike alongside Russian aircraft.

But the Pentagon, now helmed by Trump’s appointee James Mattis, issued a round denial of the Russian account.

“The Department of Defense is not coordinating airstrikes with the Russian military in Syria,” said spokesman Eric Pahon, who added that he was not aware of any coalition member aiding Russia in this instance.

The White House, however, signaled it was open in principle to joint military strikes with Russia in Syria.

The press secretary, Sean Spicer, said Trump would “work with any country that shares our interest in defeating Isis”, saying the inclination applied to “Russia or anyone else”.

[...]

********


Russian, Turkish Warplanes Conduct Joint Op Against Daesh in Syria's Al-Bab
19:52 - 23.01.2017 (updated 20:09 - 23.01.2017)
Sputnik

Russian and Turkish warplanes conducted a joint operation against Daesh in Al-Bab in Syria's Aleppo province on January 21, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday.

"On January 21, the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Turkish Air Force conducted a new joint operation striking Daesh group near Al-Bab in the province of Aleppo," the ministry said.


Three Russian attack aircraft: two Su-24Ms and a Su-34 bomber, as well as two Turkey's F-16 and two F-4 participated in the aerial campaign.

A total of 22 Daesh targets have been struck. A day later, Russia received Daesh's coordinates in the area from the United States and struck them jointly with the US-led coalition aircraft, the ministry said.


This was the second joint operation by Russian and Turkish aviation in Syria. On Wednesday, the first joint airstrikes have been launched against Daesh in Al-Bab.

The news comes amid a nationwide ceasefire in Syria backed by Russia and Turkey which came into effect on December 30 and was later supported by a UN Security Council resolution.

Turkey is currently conducting an operation in Syria dubbed Euphrates Shield. On August 24, Turkish forces, supported by Free Syrian Army rebels and US-led coalition aircraft, began a military operation dubbed the Euphrates Shield to clear the Syrian border town of Jarabulus and the surrounding area from Daesh terrorist group. As Jarabulus was retaken, the joint forces of Ankara, the coalition and Syrian rebels continued the operation to gain control over Al-Bab in the Aleppo province.

Al-Bab is one of Daesh’s last remaining strongholds near the Turkish border. Capturing the city is of strategic importance to Turkey in order to prevent the Syrian Kurds taking it and unifying their own territories.

[END REPORT]

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