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Russian Jets Violate Agreement by Flying over U.S.

Syrian Base, U.S.

Commander Says

According to a top U.S.

commander who spoke exclusively to NBC News, armed Russian jets have flown over a U.S.

military base in Syria nearly every day in March, violating a four-year-old agreement between Washington, D.C., and Moscow.

The commander, General Grinkovich, who is in charge of air operations in the region, says that the behavior is provocative and that it could potentially lead to a miscalculation.

The U.S.

military adheres to the deconfliction agreement, which calls for the two countries to communicate with each other when they are flying near one another.

However, Grinkovich says that the Russians are not adhering to the agreement.

He reports that Russian fighter jets armed with either air-to-air or air-to-ground missiles, or even bombs, are flying over the Tom Garrison base in southern Syria, where the U.S.

has ground troops.

The deconfliction agreement was put in place to avoid incidents like the one that occurred over the Black Sea last week, when a Russian jet clipped a U.S.

drone, causing the U.S.

to down it.

Grinkovich is concerned that the ongoing violations could escalate the situation at a very sensitive time between the U.S.

and Russia.

The U.S.

military communicates with the Russians using a phone line, but even with intercepts and deconfliction calls, the Russians have not changed their behavior.

It is unclear what actions the U.S.

military will take in response to the ongoing violations.

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