Russian, US military chiefs discuss Syria over phone

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(File photo: Xinhua)

MOSCOW, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- Chief of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff Valery Gerasimov discussed the Syrian situation with Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford in a phone conversation on Wednesday.

"The military leaders discussed the situation in Syria in the context of preventing incidents during combat operations against terrorist groups," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a brief statement.

The previous call between Gerasimov and Dunford took place on Aug. 21, when they discussed "a number of topical issues in the Russian-US relations in the military field," according to the ministry.

On Saturday, the US-led coalition carried out an air strike in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, killing dozens of civilians, despite a ceasefire unilaterally declared by the Syrian army, which became effective on that day.

"By its actions, the United States jeopardized the ceasefire in the Idlib de-escalation zone," the Russian Defense Ministry's center for the reconciliation of warring sides in Syria said in a statement on Sunday.

"The US contradictory actions in Idlib are puzzling and alarming. On the one hand, US representatives demand an end to the escalation of tensions. On the other hand, the US conducted an air strike that caused numerous casualties and major destruction," the Russian Foreign Ministry tweeted on Monday.