U.S. Officials Say Military Hotline With Russia Remains Open

WASHINGTON (AP) -
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Russia’s deputy U.N. ambassador Vladimir Safronkov speaks during a Security Council meeting on the situation in Syria, at United Nations headquarters on Friday. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Senior U.S. military officials say Russia has agreed to maintain a hotline aimed at preventing midair collisions in Syria.

The declarations contradict Russia’s claim that it has suspended military “deconfliction” talks after the American cruise missile strikes on Syria.

The officials say there have been U.S.-Russian discussions since Thursday night’s attack of the Syrian military base. They say American officials have sought to make sure the talks would continue, and the Russians have provided confirmation they will.

The officials weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity.

The hotline was established after Russia intervened militarily in 2015, to ensure that Russian and U.S. planes conducting combat missions in Syria’s skies don’t stumble into an accident or confrontation.