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More Indications of U.S.-Russia Cooperation in Syria

June 11, 2017 (EIRNS)—Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov strongly expressed Russia’s disapproval of U.S. air strikes against Syrian government forces during a phone call with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on June 10, although there are more signs of cooperation between the two powers in Syria.

"The interlocutors exchanged their assessments of the situation in Syria and reiterated their commitment to strengthening cooperation aimed at ending the conflict in that country,"

the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"Sergey Lavrov strongly disagreed with the U.S. strikes against pro-government forces, calling for specific measures to prevent similar incidents in the future."

The sides agreed to use the existing channels, including Astana and Geneva platforms to promote Syrian settlement, reports Sputnik.

According to an earlier report in Sputnik, the U.S. military has admitted that there’s no legal basis for U.S. military activity inside Syria.

"This deconfliction zone is not an exclusion area, no legal basis we have to say ’nobody can come in in here.’ That’s not an authority we have. We are acting based on action and perceived intent,"

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis told reporters on June 9. This statement followed the lambasting that Col. Gen. Sergey Surovikin, the commander of Russian forces in Syria dished out to the U.S., at a briefing at the Russian Defense Ministry on June 9, during which he said the U.S. military seemed to be more interested in bombing Syrian government forces than in attacking ISIS.

On the border northeast of Tanf, near the joint border of Syria, Iraq and Jordan, Syrian government forces are digging in after arriving there on June 9. On June 10, Al Masdar News (AMN) published video showing Syrian troops using earth-moving equipment to build fortified positions.

"The number of soldiers and technical vehicles, including bulldozers, hints at Syrian Army’s firm intention to defend the salient in the frontline created by its yesterday’s maneuver,"

Al Masdar reports. AMN reported this morning that the Syrian army has now raised the flag over the border crossing.

More importantly, Al Masdar adds that Syrian army units got the "green light" to take over the village of Al-Boudah, northeast of Tanf, "following an agreement between the U.S. and Russian forces," although it provides no sourcing for that statement.

With Al-Boudah seized,

"the Syrian Arab Army was able to assert control over the border-crossing northeast of Tanf; this resulted in obstruction of U.S.-backed forces from the Deir Ezzor Governorate,"

reports Al Masdar.