'There was some sort of misunderstanding': Former Kremlin advisor plays down US-Russian jet confrontation

Former advisor Alexander Nekrassov has played down reports of hostility between the United States of America and Russia.

The incident over Syria was caused by ongoing communication issues, it is claimed

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Former advisor Alexander Nekrassov has played down reports of hostility between the United States of America and Russia. 

This follows a confrontation above Syria between US and Russian fighter pilots. American warplanes halted a bombing by Russian SU-34 bombers on a 200-strong garrison of Syrian rebels, who were fighting the Islamic State near the border to Jordan.

The US pilots ordered the Russians to stand down using a special communications channel set up to prevent air accidents. However, once the Americans paused to refuel, the bombers returned and killed paramedics tending to the wounded in their first run.

Nekrassov, who formerly worked in The Kremlin, claimed the cause of the incident was miscommunication.

"It is a dangerous situation, and it seems there was some sort of misunderstanding," he told Jonny Gould. "The Russians have been asking the Americans to have a joint map, where they exchange information about ground troops, and the Americans refuse. 

"This is why the confusion continues. The interesting bit about this incident is there were fears of British special forces on the ground in the area. The Americans were worried they might be hit by the bombing and this is why the tension grew.

"I don't think there was serious hostility between the fighters."

The former presidential advisor admitted the ongoing situation in Syria will create issues between the two countries.

"There will be problems," he said. "The point is, Russia is not really supporting Assad, it's supporting a situation where nobody wants another Libya, where there is no government.

"It makes sense for a while to keep Assad, because they need to fight ISIL and destroy them and other terrorist groups.

"I think the Americans understand this, but there is tension between the two countries and across the whole of Europe."