Russian Federation cuts communications with United States in Syria, threatens to target coalition jets

Jun 20, 2017, 00:58
Russian Federation cuts communications with United States in Syria, threatens to target coalition jets

The tensions between the two superpowers were strained once again with Sunday's downing of a regime fighter jet by USA -led coalition in Syria as Russian Federation said Monday it will treat US -led coalition planes in Syria, west of the Euphrates, as targets.

The Russian defense ministry says in a statement that, starting Monday, it will track all jets and drones of the USA -led coalition west of the Euphrates and treat them as targets.

The US military said that it shot down a warplane that had dropped bombs near Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) fighters.

A Syrian army statement released on Syrian state television said the plane crashed and the pilot was missing in the first such downing of a Syrian jet by the United States since the start of the conflict in 2011.

And it has demanded a full account of why the United States military shot down the Syrian SU-22.

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Russian missile defense will intercept any aircraft in the area of operations of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria, the ministry said.

"The coalition's mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria".

"This strike can be regarded as another act of defiance of worldwide law by the United States", Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Monday, according to Russia's state-run news agency Tass.

RT is reporting that this came following the US-led coalition's downing of a Syrian regime's Su-22 warplane.

But while Moscow is a longstanding ally of President Bashar al Assad, US forces have been supporting groups including the Syrian Democratic Front, a coalition of Kurdish and Arab groups fighting against IS.

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Before it downed the plane, the coalition had "contacted its Russian counterparts by telephone via an established "de-confliction line" to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing".

USA -backed opposition fighters said Assad's forces have been attacking them in the northern province of Raqqa and warned that if such attacks continue, the fighters will take action.

However, a top Russian diplomat condemned the United States for its act of "aggression".

Areas of northern Syria west of the Euphrates were controlled by Islamic State until recent months when Syrian government forces captured most of the region back.

Russian Federation will regard any flights within the area of its air force group's operation in Syria as legitimate targets, the ministry stressed.

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Moscow has condemned the US downing of the Syrian government fighter jet after it dropped bombs nears USA partner forces.

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