US military says crisis communications link with Russia ‘in use’

The US military said on Friday that a crisis communications link with Russia meant to avoid an accidental clash over Syria was “in use,” even after Moscow threatened to abandon it over the US downing of a Syrian military jet on Sunday.

“The deconfliction line is open and it is in use,” Army Colonel Ryan Dillon, a Baghdad-based spokesman for the US-led coalition battling Islamic State in Iraq and Syria told a Pentagon news conference.

The remarks were the latest indication of a possible easing of tensions in the wake of the US shootdown of the Syrian jet.

Russia also said on Monday it would treat US-led coalition aircraft flying west of the Euphrates River in Syria as potential targets and track them with missile systems and military aircraft.

But the Pentagon later said that Russia was not carrying out any actions in Syria that caused it concern.