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Communication channels still open: Moscow, Pentagon discuss Syria, counter-terrorism

Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford discussed the situation in Syria and the fight against terrorism during their telephone talks on Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry said. “During their talks, the counterparts exchanged opinions on the situation in Syria and fight against terrorism, as well as other pressing issues of mutual interest,” the ministry said in a statement. Gerasimov and Dunford also reaffirmed the importance of maintaining the existing channel of communication, according to the statement. On December 5, Gerasimov said that Russia had suggested to the United States that it eliminate its military base located in the southeastern Syrian city of Al Tanf and establish joint Russian-US control over the zone instead. According to Gerasimov, Washington has not provided an answer to that proposal. The general also stressed that the United States justified its presence in Al Tanf by the necessity of…

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