Russian and Syrian regime forces bombed USA -backed fighters Tuesday in villages near the Syrian city of al-Bab in an incident that the top US general in the region said may have been a mistake.
The ministry said in a statement that the United States has provided exact coordinates of the US-backed opposition forces in the region to Russian military and the information was "taken into account".
Russia's Defense Ministry denied the claim, state-sponsored Sputnik News said.
Turks, their Free Syrian Army allies, ISIS, Syrian regime forces, and the USA -backed Syrian Arab Coalition and Kurdish forces are "literally within hand grenade range of each other", Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend told reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday. "It's a very hard and complicated area" in which to operate.
The Russians quickly called off the airstrikes, said Townsend, who suggested that the bombings were likely a mistake in what he called a "highly complicated battlefield" in northeastern Syria. However, there were a few casualties reported from the Syrian Arab Coalition.
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The incident on Tuesday marked the second time in a month that Russian aircraft mistakenly attacked friendly forces.
The U.S.is backing a force of Syrian Arabs and Kurds that is closing in on Raqqa, the de-facto capital in Syria of the Islamic State, which is also called ISIS. "The ISIS fighters withdrew, and the Syrian Arab Coalition fighters advanced into those villages", the general explained.
The U.S. mission strategy is to operate by, with and through local partners. While the 50,000-strong force faces "the problem of supply, the problem of training, and problems of positioning the force", those things can be worked out fairly rapidly, "if we get the authorities we need" from Washington, he said.
The United States and Russia established a hotline in 2015 in which a US colonel in Qatar and a Russian colonel in Syria work to "deconflict" operations and prevent aerial collisions.
"This is something that goes on daily in the air", Townsend said of deconfliction.