Russian Federation threatens to shoot down USA, coalition aircraft in Syria
20 June, 2017, 14:11 | Author: Leticia Walters
Sunday's downing of the jet and Russia's response on Monday further complicates Syria's six-year war and come as the US-led coalition and allied fighters battle to remove the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group from its Syrian bastion, Raqqa.
"All flying objects, including planes and drones of the worldwide coalition, detected west of the Euphrates, will be followed by Russian air defense systems as targets", the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
In the past month, USA -backed forces in Syria's southeastern corner have come under pressure from Iranian-backed Shiite militias.
It's the first time the United States has shot down a Syrian aircraft since it began fighting ISIS in the country in 2014.
The ministry emphasized that Russian warplanes were on a mission in Syrian airspace during the US-led coalition's attack on the Syrian Su-22, while the coalition failed to use the communication line to prevent an incident.
Australia has suspended its airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria as a precaution after a US fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane earlier this week.
The United States will work to restore the deconfliction channel with Russian Federation in Syria that Moscow suspended after Washington's forces downed a Syrian warplane, an official said here.
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called the shoot down an "act of aggression".
It said that two hours earlier, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attacked SDF fighters in the town of Ja'din south of Tabqa, "wounding a number of SDF fighters and driving the SDF from the town".
Iran's launch of its ballistic missiles against IS hit Syria's eastern city of Deir el-Zour on Sunday night and was its first such strike in the conflict. The confrontation marked the first time the United States has downed a pro-government aircraft since the Syrian civil war began in 2011.
They are in support of Syrian Arab and Kurdish fighters aligned against Islamic State militants.
The U.S. described its attack as an act of "collective self-defense of Coalition-partnered forces".
It appeared to be Iran's first missile attack overseas in over 15 years and its first in the Syrian conflict, in which it has provided crucial support to Assad. "The coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend coalition or partner forces from any threat".
Dunford noted that the hotline, which has been vital in protecting both USA and Russian forces operating in Syria, remained in use "over the last few hours".
Sillo also warned that if "the regime continues in its offensive against our positions in Raqqa province, this will force us to retaliate with force".
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