(IP) - The White House will maintain contact with Russia regarding operations in Syrian airspace, says US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

Iran PressAmerica: "We will continue to engage through established channels to express our concerns and communicate with senior leadership as necessary. However, we will maintain our current operational procedures in the airspace, ensuring the protection of our interests and resources," stated Austin following the Australia-US Ministerial Consultations (AUSMIN).

The meeting also included US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles, and Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong.

Earlier reports from media outlets suggested that Russian fighter jets had allegedly performed dangerous maneuvers near US MQ-9 Reaper drones involved in operations against the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia) in Syria.