A report from the Russian Defence Ministry yesterday 23rd January 2017 caused a minor flap when it said that Russian aircraft had bombed ISIS position near Al-Bab on the basis of coordinates provided by the US military.
This caused some excitement, with some seeing this report as the first sign that under the new Trump administration US policy in Syria is at last changing, and that the US and Russia are finally working together to fight ISIS.
The Defence Ministry statement reads as follows
On January 22, the Russian command centre at the Khmeimim airbase has received coordinates of Daesh targets in Al-Bab, Aleppo province, via the ‘direct line’ from the US-led coalition headquarters. After further data verification with the assistance of unmanned aircraft and space reconnaissance, the Russian Aerospace Forces and two jets of the international coalition have conducted airstrikes on the terrorists’ targets.
(bold italics added)
However following questions from the Russian news agencies Interfax and Sputnik, the US led international coalition categorically denied cooperating with the Russian military in carrying out the air strikes. Its statement reads as follows
@OIRSpox on Russian claims of joint activity in Syria:The Department of Defence is not coordinating air strikes with the Russian military in Syria. DoD maintains a channel of communication focused solely on ensuring the safety of air crews and de-confliction of Coalition and Russian operations in Syria.