September 30, 2015 / 1:17 PM / 3 years ago

Russia strikes not targeting Islamic State areas in Syria: U.S. official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russia’s airstrikes in Syria so far do not appear to be targeting Islamic State-held territory, a U.S. official told Reuters on Wednesday, a crucial detail which could complicate any potential cooperation with the United States in the war.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Russia was carrying out the strikes in the vicinity of Homs and perhaps other areas in Syria as well, noting that all U.S. information on Russian activity was still preliminary.

Russia cautioned the United States to clear Syrian airspace ahead of the strikes, the U.S. official said, adding, however, that the U.S.-led coalition was “continuing to fly missions in Syria.”

A senior Russian military officer delivered the message to the United States in Baghdad on Wednesday, the U.S. official said.

Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Susan Heavey

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