US to Propose Establishing Joint Operational Center on Syria to Russia

The new US proposal on military cooperation with Russia on Syria includes a plan to establish a joint command center with prospects of integrated operations, The Washington Post reports.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Earlier, the newspaper reported that US Secretary of State John Kerry could propose Moscow to exchange information on the locations of the Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) terrorist group and to synchronize their operations against the Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

According to the text of the proposal, which Kerry plans to discuss with Russian officials during his visit to Moscow on Thursday, the United States is proposing to establish separate headquarters with Russia at the new operation and a shared coordination office.

“The participants, through the JIG [Joint Implementation Group], should enable coordination between the participants for military operations against [Jabhat al-Nusra],” the document says, as quoted by the newspaper on Wednesday.

The United States is proposing to share intelligence with Russia and, if both sides agree, to coordinate procedures to permit “integrated operations.”

According to the US plan, the JIG would be set up near Amman, Jordan.

US State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said on Wednesday that the Obama administration was eager to cooperate with Russia in exposing genuine terrorist groups that were commingling with other opposition forces in Syria.

Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad fighting a number of opposition factions and extremist groups. On February 27, a US-Russia brokered ceasefire came into force in Syria. Terrorist groups such as Islamic State (IS, also known as Daesh), as well as Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front), both outlawed in Russia and a range of other states, are not part of the deal.