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Russia: Deal reached with US to prevent Syria mid-air collisions

Russia: Deal reached with US to prevent Syria mid-air collisions
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Russia says it's reached an airspace deconfliction deal with the U.S. aimed at avoiding mid-air collisions in Syria, Reuters reported Saturday.

The memorandum of understanding between the two countries was suspended by Russia last month after the U.S. launched a retaliatory missile strike on a Syrian military airfield.

The U.S. strike was in response to a chemical weapons attack in northern Syria allegedly carried out by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. That chemical attack left more than 80 civilians dead, including many children.

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Russia is a staunch ally of Assad and is conducting airstrikes against targets in the country to help Syrian government forces fight militant groups. The U.S. and Russia signed the memorandum in 2015 when Russia began its air operations in the country.

The U.S. has long held the position that Assad must leave power in order to end Syria's ongoing and bitter civil war — a conflict that has left hundreds of thousands dead and has driven millions from their homes.

Tensions between the U.S. and Russia have worsened in the weeks since the U.S. missile strike. The Kremlin condemned the attack as an act of aggression against a sovereign state before suspending the airspace agreement.