Responding to a reporter's question about Russia's air strikes in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urges the media to disregard what the Pentagon is saying. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Russia and the United States faced off at the United Nations on Wednesday over parallel air campaigns against Islamic State in Syria, with both sides claiming legitimacy for their actions but differing over the role of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Hours after Russia launched its first air strikes, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a Security Council meeting that Moscow would liaise with the U.S.-led coalition of Western allies and regional states that has been flying missions for a year. During a photo op with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Lavrov responded to a reporter's question about the Russian air strikes in Syria saying, "Don't listen to the Pentagon about the Russian strikes." The United States, France and other allies questioned whether the Russian planes had hit Islamic State positions, as Moscow said, saying they were in fact aimed at Western-backed rebels who have fought both Islamic State and Assad's forces. U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said Russia had informed the United States of its intended strikes an hour in advance through a diplomat in Baghdad and asked that U.S. aircraft avoid Syrian airspace. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told the council the Russian warning was being ignored and that coalition flights and attacks had continued on Wednesday. "These strikes will continue," he said. The Russian attacks occurred before Moscow and Washington had begun agreed talks on "deconfliction": averting clashes between different militaries operating in the same theater. U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin, meeting at the United Nations on Monday, had agreed that such consultations would take place.