Military Review

Cut sky

Russia and the United States argue about the division of areas of responsibility in Syria

On October 20 of this year, the spokesman for the Russian military, Major General Igor Konashenkov, announced that a memorandum was signed between the United States and Russia on the prevention of possible air incidents in the sky of Syria, where both signatory countries are currently causing aviation attacks on the position of the Islamic State.

Also, according to the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, previously announced by the Deputy Minister of Defense of Russia, Anatoly Antonov, work on the document began in early October. But in spite of the fact that the coordination process has already been completed, and the memorandum has been signed, it has not only been not published in the Russian mass media, but not even private extracts.

According to the Pentagon, voiced by the official representative of the US military department Peter Cook, a memorandum of understanding was signed between the United States and Russia, which, in particular, indicates what the pilots of the two countries should do in order to “avoid an accidental collision in the sky over Syria during separate strikes ”(includes steps of air strikes).

According to the Pentagon, the full text of the document signed by the United States commander of the Central Command, General Lloyd Weber, has not been disclosed. At the same time, the memorandum contains quite interesting points, in particular, on the creation of a joint Russian-American group to resolve “implementation issues”, as well as on the creation of a continuous communication line between the US and Russian military.

Peter Cook pointed out that the document prescribes American and Russian military aircraft to observe “safe distances” (for US and Russian aircraft to maintain a safe distance), but refused to answer the question whether these specific “safe distances” are indicated in the memorandum.

“We agree to interact with Russia, if it is in our interests,” the Pentagon official said. But he emphasized that we are not talking about the organization of interaction, coordination, and the joint distribution of goals.

Urgent problem

Relatively recently, a unique video of the Su-30SM Su-9SM Aerospace Forces of Russia flying the American Miper Rifter drone drone in the Syrian sky appeared relatively recently in the Russian media.

Cut skyShortly before this, there were reports of a dangerous rapprochement between the Russian combat vehicles and the anti-Igil coalition planes. According to the Pentagon, the US military at least once had to cancel the planned air strikes because of the possibility of unexpectedly crossing in a given area with Russian aircraft.

However, according to some reports, Americans were forced to change plans more often. In particular, because of the possible presence of Russian aviation, flights of the MS-130 transport belonging to the US Air Force Special Operations Command were canceled, the task of which was to supply troops of the so-called moderate opposition.

The US military began to take concrete steps to control the actions of the Russian military aviation, even before the Russian Aerospace Forces launched strikes. In September, when there was a transfer of Russian troops to Syria, the Pentagon first "expressed concern," and then demanded to provide data on the passage of Russian military transport aircraft over the territory of Syria and Iraq. According to the US military, unauthorized overflights of Russian aviation created problems for the actions of the coalition air forces. After the refusal of the Russian side to provide such information, Bulgaria closed its airspace for the passage, and pressure was also put on Greece.

Since the beginning of the first strikes of the Russian armed forces on the position of Syrian militants, the concern has been replaced by a rather strong anti-Russian media campaign, the peak of which was material in the British newspaper Daily Star that British pilots got permission to shoot down Russian aircraft if they pose a threat to their fighters- Tornado bombers.

A little later, Sunday Times journalists, citing a representative of the United Kingdom government, indicated that it was only that British attack aircraft participating in operations against ISIS, in addition to the guided bombs for self-defense, would also be suspended air-to-air missiles.

A short response was also caused by the brief flight of a Russian fighter into Turkish airspace, which was used by the NATO leadership as a pretext for its readiness to protect the sovereign airspace of a country that is a member of the North Atlantic Alliance.

But the contingent of Russian aerospace forces in Syria from the moment of the first sorties took a rather tough position. In particular, the strike vehicles are accompanied by Su-30CM fighters, equipped with air-to-air missiles of both short-range and medium-range, and Su-34 front-line bombers take off only with suspended containers of the newest Kibiny e-bomber station.

In addition to the United States and the coalition led by them, Israel also expressed concern about the actions of Russia, several times even raising its fighters into the air in those rare moments when the Russian Aerospace Forces struck in southern Syria, close to the Golan Heights.

Air war diplomats

So, the memorandum of understanding was signed, the Pentagon stated that its action not only extends to the US military department, but will also be strictly observed by other countries participating in the coalition. But is the problem solved?

For now, we can only say that only a certain framework agreement has been reached, in which the problem and the ways to solve it for the first time are described in general terms. According to the newspaper Military Industrial Courier, one of the requirements of the US military to Russian colleagues is to transfer data about targets and locations of aircraft attacked by airborne forces in order to prevent an “unexpected meeting” with Russian aircraft in the air. At the same time, the Russian side proposed a slightly different format of interaction - to create a joint intelligence and information center, similar to the Russian-Syrian-Iraqi one already operating in Baghdad, or to expand the powers of the latter. Also, to coordinate joint efforts, it was proposed to exchange intermediary officers.

It is necessary to understand, the variant of the Pentagon is quite crafty. The Russian Defense Ministry’s information on what targets and when American planes will hit will really help avoid possible air incidents. But if the Air Force and the US Navy strike only at ISIS, the Russian side works on the positions of Syrian militants, some of which the West refers to the so-called moderate opposition. It is supplied by the United States and its allies, including Turkey and the countries of the Persian Gulf. Therefore, there is no guarantee that the members of the coalition will not try to prevent the Russian side from implementing the planned program, or even simply begin to transfer information to the enemy.

By agreeing with the Russian conditions, the United States actually recognizes Russia as a full participant in the events, with which it is necessary to reckon and coordinate their actions. But the maximum that the States were ready for was, as mentioned above, “to interact with Russia, if it is in our interests.”

Faced with complete incomprehension, diplomats and the military attempted to reach an agreement in order to defuse the situation, which was rapidly heating up in the Syrian sky. Therefore, the work on the coordination of the memorandum between Russia and the United States officially began on October 10, and in fact its project appeared even earlier, according to the newspaper “Military Industrial Courier” - no later than October October 7.

Separately, it is necessary to dwell on Russia's insistent proposals to include in the document a joint search and rescue of pilots who crashed or even shot down over Syria as Russian cars and aircraft of the “anti-Igilovka coalition.” According to the official position of the Russian military department, voiced by Major General Igor Konashenkov, “in the event of any force majeure in the skies of Syria, the bill will go not even for hours, but for minutes, and from concerted actions in such operations to save people depend on their life. "

To carry out such operations, some kind of interaction will be required, as indicated by the RF Ministry of Defense, as well as a very specific joint group that will prescribe an algorithm for action in the event of a pilot evacuation and will lead such operations. And again, the United States will have to recognize Russia as a full participant in the conflict and start organizing joint actions with it - and this against the backdrop of the isolation declared by the Barack Obama administration.

But the memorandum was signed, albeit with reservations. According to the United States, this is a kind of framework document that helps to solve only some difficulties in the Syrian sky, but does not, which the Pentagon, Russia particularly emphasizes, is involved in events with which it is necessary to coordinate and jointly plan its actions. At the same time, the Russian side notes a serious shift in the negotiations.

The Devil in Detail

The most important point of the document signed by 20 in October is the formation of some kind of joint working group to solve “implementation issues”, but this formulation may conceal a more serious problem that Russian and US military and diplomats have just begun to solve. According to some information, one of the further solutions to the problem can be a line dividing areas of responsibility - when each of the parties acts against ISIL only on the territory allocated to it, without flying into someone else's.

This option removes many problems. Firstly, the American and allied aircraft even theoretically will not meet with the Russian. Secondly, the problem with the choice of targets is removed, since each side will destroy enemy targets without regard to "partners." And thirdly, apart from the so-called junction of areas of responsibility, it is not necessary to create joint teams, to invent action algorithms for the search and rescue of pilots who left the plane as a result of an accident or fire of enemy air defenses.

The most important thing is that the coalition and Russia formally retain their independence, since they operate independently in their areas of responsibility. For the United States, the division of Syria into areas of responsibility meets the definition of “interacting with Russia, if it is in our interests.”

It is not excluded that the joint working group established under the current memorandum of understanding will move to work on the formation of areas of responsibility and their distribution. But expect a quick solution to this problem is not worth it.

Options for the formation of zones may be several. The first is the extensive zones dividing the regions not only controlled by ISIL, but also those where the units of the so-called moderate opposition are based. The second is a few small areas of responsibility only where ISIL operates. And the third is again small zones, but in which the positions of the “Islamic State” and the “moderate” militants fall.

The US and the coalition countries are interested not only in defeating ISIS, but also in supporting moderate opposition, so they will strive to get into their area of ​​responsibility as much of the territory now controlled by the rebels as possible. In this case, the opponents of Bashar Assad can not only be covered from the blows of the Russian Aerospace Forces, but also freely supplied by air.

If you look at the map of Syria, then the “Anti-Igilov coalition” is primarily interested in the northern part of the country, plus it is advisable to move the boundary of the zone of responsibility to the west as far as possible - towards the Mediterranean Sea and densely populated areas. According to American officials, the opposition is one of the main forces fighting the Islamic State, and it must be supported. Therefore, the first and the third options for the division of areas of responsibility are more acceptable to the coalition.

But this option does not suit Russia, which logically sees its “hunting grounds” not only in the north, but also in the whole coastal part of the country - those areas that are currently the main application of the efforts of the Russian Aerospace Forces and the advancing troops of Bashar al-Assad. Russia's position on this issue is quite simple: the coalition is fighting ISIS, so there is no need to include in their areas of responsibility the territories controlled by the Syrian opposition units, leading battles with the government troops of Bashar al-Assad.

It should be noted that in two months (considering the stage of preparation and the transfer of troops), the Russian military and diplomats were able to achieve some success. The position of the United States, albeit with a crunch, shifted from the requirements to provide all the information on the actions of the Russian grouping to the memorandum of understanding and the creation of a joint working group, as well as to the first steps to differentiate actions.

But it cannot be ruled out that Russia and the United States will not be able to find mutual understanding and agree, then the idea of ​​areas of responsibility will be unrealized.
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  1. Magic archer
    Magic archer 30 October 2015 06: 08
    As I was told by one Englishman who has been living in Russia for many years, only Russians can talk about politics since political scientists and politicians can speak in our West))) That is, ask anyone whatever, not only does everyone know and understand so they will tell and prove their point of view! The Americans are still racking their brains to call the moderate opposition softer and prove to the whole world that they are not fanatical bandits! But nothing happens, even in the video they are ordinary thugs whose language does not turn to be called MODERATE
    1. Dembel77
      Dembel77 30 October 2015 08: 11
      one of the further options for solving the problem may be a line that divides the areas of responsibility - when each of the parties will act against ISIS only in the territory allocated to it, not flying into someone else's.
      First, the sky will be divided, then a line will be drawn across the earth? What is it that citizens do? Will we again share the world with the Americans, as after the 2nd World War? Interesting. But we already passed it! And we know how it will end! Here you have to be very careful!
      1. Chertkov Oleg
        Chertkov Oleg 30 October 2015 08: 34
        Dembel 77. I expressed my thought, did not have time
        There may be several options for the formation of zones. The first is the vast areas that separate the areas not only controlled by ISIS, but also those where the so-called moderate opposition units are based. The second - a few small areas of responsibility only where ISIS operates. And the third - again, small zones, but in which the positions of both the “Islamic state” and the “moderate” militants fall
      2. marlin1203
        marlin1203 30 October 2015 09: 14
        For the occupation zones - offset! I have already written for a long time that everything is according to the old scheme: a race with the "allies" on the "Berlin", a meeting on the "Elbe", the occupation zones and a new confrontation. soldier
      3. Asadullah
        Asadullah 30 October 2015 11: 20
        Here you have to be very careful!

        It’s too late to be careful here, the separation from bargaining is precisely the interests of the Americans. And the division in the American way does not reflect the interests of Syria as a state. Agreeing to split means losing. Destruction of any resistance, the introduction of military rule for the recovery period, then the election. All, they go through the forest with their division, let Iraq divide. And then, let's see ....
      4. Your friend
        Your friend 30 October 2015 13: 12
        What are the "Accumulation zones"? (
  2. Gray 43
    Gray 43 30 October 2015 06: 15
    The Americans in Syria are like a left, muddy type entered someone else's house, feeding rats and cockroaches ("opposition"), and even indignant when they are trying to poison them and hates the host's assistants in this event, trying in every way to shit on them.
  3. iliitchitch
    iliitchitch 30 October 2015 06: 17
    Again, again "areas of responsibility", yours do not go here, here is my sneaker. These kozels well, just pull us, I repeat, to another stupidity like the FRG-GDR. And then we will get bogged down there, not childish, for decades of sluggish democracy. We must give Assad a chance to preserve his country as a whole, to kick out the shaitans back where they came from. There is a chance.
    1. sa-ag
      sa-ag 30 October 2015 07: 33
      Quote: iliitch
      It is necessary to give Assad a chance to save his whole country, to knock the shaitans back to where they came from. There is a chance, there is.

      He couldn’t keep his country under control, take away support from the outside and again everything will return to normal, the second Najibullah
      1. alicante11
        alicante11 30 October 2015 07: 52
        He couldn’t keep his country under control, take away support from the outside and again everything will return to normal, the second Najibullah

        And who would be able to keep under control Syria, into which the USA and its Arab allies are rushing openly? Those. the strongest and richest states on the planet. Yes, Bashar al-Assad can be envied by any politician or commander.
        1. sa-ag
          sa-ag 30 October 2015 08: 19
          Quote: alicante11
          And who could control Syria

          Hafez al-Assad did it somehow
      2. iliitchitch
        iliitchitch 30 October 2015 07: 59
        Not anymore, we Afghans still could tolerate without excessive nix, Iraq, Libya, too, though silent in vain, but with Sirieey ... It's like the Crimea - or NATO base in Sevastopol,
        or Crimea - OUR, no options. The same is with Syria - or the grimy will press us with the price of oil (and we are sticking to the oil needle specifically! Fact.) - or we will untie the knot (for ourselves), and for these kOzels we will tie it. Yes, again, a political gain - now Iraq, Iran, Egypt, possibly Libya (if at least some kind of power is preserved there), and even the Saudis will kick up - do not worry, "analysts" will be hanged in the State Department. No, we will not surrender Bashar, although the price may be high. But, again, no options, I think.
  4. EvgNik
    EvgNik 30 October 2015 06: 22
    document instructs US and Russian military aircraft to maintain “safe distances”
    Safe distance for state aircraft - flights exclusively over the states.
  5. Fearless
    Fearless 30 October 2015 06: 34
    Oh, these Americanans why they haven’t taken anything all this time. And as the Russian Aerospace Forces began to bomb, they raised the kipish, which means that all the Americans are muddying and they have agents there. And the Americans still say give the coordinates where they will bomb to predefine, and as Russia asked for the coordinates, the Americans didn’t give such type of secret information as the Americans understand this. And why other countries are silent afraid of amers so they and then write them down.
  6. lwxx
    lwxx 30 October 2015 06: 40
    The coalition does not have the approval of the UN Security Council and the permission of the legitimate Syrian government, therefore they are outside the law. What are the areas of responsibility ?? When ours touched the Turkish territory, the stench was like chemical weapons, but here everything is exactly. Try to fly to the Jews, they will bring down immediately and without warning. It is necessary for Syria to install modern air defense systems, and then talk.
  7. AdekvatNICK
    AdekvatNICK 30 October 2015 07: 41
    to close America on their continent and cut off their Internet.
    1. Asadullah
      Asadullah 30 October 2015 11: 23
      and cut off their internet.

      You are just a beast! This is mass suicide!
      1. iliitchitch
        iliitchitch 30 October 2015 11: 57
        And chop off the Jeepies (a barrel of nuts into orbit; well, I’ll exaggerate, of course) - that way they won’t find the outhouse in the house, that’s a gorgeous diversion.
  8. alicante11
    alicante11 30 October 2015 07: 55
    Definitely, if there are areas of responsibility - this is the division of Syria. Moreover, everything in the West's area of ​​responsibility will be anti-Russian and anti-Assad. So no "zones" should be allowed. We have the right to be there, but the Americans do not. This is what we must stand on.
    1. iliitchitch
      iliitchitch 31 October 2015 23: 59
      That's it . In place, you need to put the parasites. Syria must be ONE.
  9. Zomanus
    Zomanus 30 October 2015 08: 09
    And the US has nothing more to bomb?
    There is Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Libya ...
    You can kill yourself if you wish.
    And nefig to climb into our Syria.
  10. dog1965
    dog1965 30 October 2015 09: 44
    What are the general "Areas of responsibility"? What is this nonsense? That the Yusovites were invited to Syria? Or did they get a UN mandate? The Russian Aerospace Forces is the only legitimate force in Syria from a foreign presence. The Yankees fly there illegally, so the maximum is to notify the parties that aviation will work in a certain sector for an hour or two. And even then, let the staff members inform, so as not to be frightened, being in the coverage area of ​​the Russian locators.
  11. NordUral
    NordUral 30 October 2015 09: 51
    Moscow just needs to (although it is very difficult) tell the States that they were shitting in Syria - take a break, we will fix the matter and call you. An open sky should be only for our and Syrian aviation and our real partners with the Syrians, if such appear.
  12. 31rus
    31rus 30 October 2015 09: 58
    This is exactly the question I have asked many times, if, as the media claim (here I believe 100%) in Syria, we are acting legally at the request of the legitimate President Assad, but the most interesting thing is why should we, or the Syrians, divide the Syrian sky ?, the second question is why in do not understand who is located in the operational rear, on the maps of these territories it is clearly visible what kind of "closed zones"
  13. Altona
    Altona 30 October 2015 11: 22
    In principle, if you think logically, then the whole sky of Syria belongs to us ... We are in Syria legally, the United States and the coalition are actually piracy there ... The strangest thing is that they do not need any legal justification for their presence ... This it surprises, to be honest ... It’s kind of like a bandit is operating in your house, you called a police outfit, but the bandit’s friends arrived with the police and also want to participate in the process ...
  14. veksha50
    veksha50 30 October 2015 12: 25
    Such division into "areas of responsibility" is not beneficial to us ...

    And you do not need to breed polites again according to international (read - Amer) canons ...

    They don’t even want to create a joint group to save the pilots in distress ... Give them information where and when Russian planes will fly and strike ...

    I would say yes, the moderators will ban ... Look, the Chinese admiral was not afraid to threaten the United States with the outbreak of war, and the states turned their tongue into a tube ...
  15. lwxx
    lwxx 30 October 2015 13: 03
    Quote: veksha50
    There, the Chinese admiral was not afraid to threaten the United States with the outbreak of war, and the states turned their tongue into a tube ...
    And why did they turn it away, or did the Chinese drown or fill someone up? AND ? What result? "Talk" do not carry bags!
  16. iouris
    iouris 30 October 2015 13: 49
    The "division of the sky" means the division of Syria. Of course, I understand that politics is the art of the possible, but you have to be realistic and achieve the impossible, balancing on the brink.
  17. ASG7
    ASG7 30 October 2015 15: 40
    I think that an American is allowed to fly where there are no CAA interests, that’s the point, and you shouldn’t breed snot.
  18. WUS 068
    WUS 068 30 October 2015 16: 26
    ... primarily interested in the northern part of the country, plus it is desirable to maximally shift the border of the zone of responsibility to the west - towards the Mediterranean Sea ...

    Oil and gas fields and pipelines to the sea are what interests them.
    And no areas of responsibility !!! Bomb "everyone, everywhere." As soon as the demarcation lines are drawn, this is the first and last step towards the collapse of Syria. Let's remember the FRG and the GDR!
  19. WUS 068
    WUS 068 30 October 2015 17: 02
    ... primarily interested in the northern part of the country, plus it is desirable to maximally shift the border of the zone of responsibility to the west - towards the Mediterranean Sea ...

    Oil and gas fields and pipelines to the sea are what interests them.
    And no areas of responsibility !!! Bomb "everyone, everywhere." As soon as the demarcation lines are drawn, this is the first and last step towards the collapse of Syria. Let's remember the FRG and the GDR!
  20. cniza
    cniza 30 October 2015 17: 04
    Quote: Magic Archer
    language does not turn to call MODERATE

    And only we wonder how the Americans call them moderate, all the other languages ​​stuck ... well, you know where.
  21. NIKNN
    NIKNN 30 October 2015 21: 23
    Was Assad asked?
  22. Starik72
    Starik72 30 October 2015 21: 51
    We are all here for the fact that you CANNOT divide SKY SYRIA into zones of responsibility, otherwise the American arrogant orgy will begin against Syria and especially Bashar Assad!
  23. Vlad5307
    Vlad5307 30 October 2015 22: 25
    The division of Syria into zones of responsibility is a trap for Syria and Russia, as the defender of the rights of Syria and its people from bandits. Whereas such a scheme provides a guarantee of the survival of bandits who hide behind moderation and are patronized by the Amer coalition. And thirdly, their coalition will cut itself a much larger zone of irresponsibility than they will leave Russia. Fourth, in their area they will destroy the SAA, claiming that they are fighting against the moderate!
    All these conversations should remain conversations and there should not be any zones of responsibility! Let them destroy the Islamic State in Iraq, but in Syria no one called them and our military didn’t drag them there - extra sticks in the wheels and nothing more.
    They are cheating our military and politicians like Gorbachev! Our politicians are painfully fond of international recognition; it would be better if they worked for the recognition of Russia by others as a barrier against the West's big lies. Enough to help them maintain a good "face" in their bad deeds! am