US , Russian militaries hold unprecedented talks on Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. says American and Russia military leaders have met for an unprecedented, face-to-face session in Syria or nearby to discuss increasing tensions around a remaining Islamic State stronghold in Syria

Syrian government forces, Russian special forces and U.S.-backed militants are fighting for the oil-rich Deir el-Zour province. Army Col. Ryan Dillon says U.S. and Russian general officers shared maps, graphics and information about where their forces are battling in the area. The recent discussions suggest an expanded effort to cooperate in the fight.

Dillon says U.S. and Russian ground forces in Syria have coordinating over telephone lines in the past month or so to ensure their forces don’t fire on each other. Russia has accused the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces of firing on Syrian government troops in the area.