A CNN report says the United States and Russia coordinated on some level during this week's US special forces raid on a compound in Idlib near the Turkish border which ended in the death of the head of ISIS.
"The United States coordinated with Russia to deconflict airspace to conduct the raid that killed the ISIS leader in northwest Syria, according to a US defense official familiar," CNN wrote. Separately, Russian media on Friday is reporting that "America’s successful mission to kill the leader of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) was coordinated with Russia, with Moscow being warned in advance."
Given the operation was highly classified and reportedly long in planning, this amounts to the Pentagon engaging in high level intelligence sharing with the Russian military in Syria. The two sides have long had a 'military-to-military' hotline to avoid engaging in inadvertent conflict.
The overnight Thursday operation reportedly involved multiple helicopters and fighter jets circling airspace above Idlib for some two hours or more. It's also an area where Russian and Syrian government fighter planes are also active. According to CNN, however, the Pentagon did not divulge specifics of the operation ahead of time.
Biden had on Thursday morning hailed a 'successful' mission which "removed a major terrorist threat" - in reference to the killing of ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, who is believed to have taken al-Baghdadi's place as head of the Islamic State.
In total 13 people people reportedly died, and a US Blackhawk helicopter went down in an emergency landing (subsequently destroyed by US operatives), during the daring overnight raid on the terror leader's hideout.
The operation was said to have been "months" in planning, and reports say defense planners and the administration knew it would be a high risk, dangerous raid in the middle of a residential area with women and children present.