UK: Deconfliction With Russia Has Slowed Operations

Russia’s intervention in Syria has slowed coalition air operations in Syria, though ISIS has lost 20 percent of the ground it once held, the UK Ministry of Defense said Tuesday during a Twitter question-and-answer session. The comments contradict those by US officials who maintain air operations continue undeterred despite Russian involvement in the country. The ministry also said “Russia has a responsibility to end the targeting of civilians” by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, though “it has not done this.” The UK defense ministry requested £204 million (about $298 million) in February for continued operations in Iraq and Syria, which represents a relatively small amount of the total $7.4 billion price tag for Operation Inherent Resolve. The UK has also, to date, trained more than 3,300 Peshmerga fighters and more than 11,000 Iraqi Security Forces, the ministry said.