A senior Pentagon official said that “there’s a confluence of interests between those three groups – the Iranians, Russians and Syrians… I see evidence of operational-level planning between mid-level Quds Force leadership that’s operating in Syria [and] Russian forces that are operating in Syria”, describing the nature of the relationship as “collaborative planning, collaborative understanding and intelligence sharing”. He also noted that “what has been qualitatively different since March is that there’s been an increase in activity and an increase in the unprofessional nature of [Russia’s] interactions. [Before] they wouldn’t turn and attempt to dogfight our aircraft. That is almost routine now”.
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