“The secretary and the minister talked about areas where the United States and Russia´s perspectives overlap and areas of divergence”, he said.
Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said Mr Carter and Mr Shoigu agreed to further discuss the “counter-ISIL campaign”.
The Pentagon said the call lasted about 50 minutes and included an agreement for further U.S.-Russian talks about ways to keep their respective militaries out of each other’s way, something known as “deconfliction” in military parlance.
NPR has learned that four Russian attack aircraft have landed in Syria as part of an effort by Moscow to support the regime of Bashar al-Assad against Islamic State militants.
The US suspended military relations with Russia past year over the Russian invasion and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region.
The Russian defense ministry’s spokesperson Major General Igor Konashenkov also noted the positive outcome, saying that “the course of the conversation has shown that the sides’ opinions on the majority of issues under consideration are close or coincide”.
“From the very beginning of the conflict Russian Federation has been timely providing assistance to Syria“, he said, according to TASS, and “admitted that Russia’s firm stance has had an increasing influence on the Western countries’ approaches to the Syrian crisis“. “We do not have a veto on any demand as long as it is within the framework of Syria’s unity and the unity of the Syrian people and territory”, he said, denying Damascus had any “state policy concerning the Kurds”.
A U.S. defence official briefed on the 50-minute phone call told Reuters that Mr Shoigu described Russia’s military activities in the war-torn country as “designed to honour commitments made to the Syrian government“.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on September 13 that Moscow will continue sending military supplies to Syria.
The government of President Barack Obama has spent more than a year leading an global coalition that has bombed IS positions in Syria and Iraq, while at the same time training so-caled moderate rebels to eventually represent an alternative to Assad.
“The secretary stressed that there is no military solution to the overall conflict in Syria, which can only be resolved by a political transition away from Assad”.
Assad said Turkish support had been crucial to the growth of two of the biggest insurgent groups in Syria, Islamic State and the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, and aerial bombing by a U.S.-led coalition had failed to stop Islamic State.