Russian Federation to Treat US Planes in Syria as 'Targets'

Cheryl Sanders
June 20, 2017

The US military failed to use the communication line with Russia concerning this attack, despite the fact that Russian warplanes were also on a mission in Syrian airspace at the time, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

Russian military officials threatened to cutoff its hotline with the United States in response to an American Navy F-18 fighter jet shooting down a Syrian warplane on Sunday after the government jet dropped bombs near local forces backed by Washington.

US officials claimed a Navy F-18 shot down the jet after it dropped bombs near Syrian Democratic Forces, which is part of the USA -backed campaign against the Islamic State group.

Marine General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said there was still communications between a USA air operations center in Qatar and Russian forces on the ground in Syria but added: "We'll work diplomatically and military in the coming hours to reestablish deconfliction".

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. Coalition aircraft will continue operations against Islamic State targets "while ensuring the safety of our aircrew given known threats in the battlespace", he said.

The United States will continue to conduct air operations over Syria, a spokesman for the US-led task force that is fighting the Islamic State said overnight.

They are moving increasingly east, we have already seen a couple of skirmishes between USA forces and Shi'a militias backed by Iran south of here.

The Canadian military has been flying surveillance aircraft and a refuelling plane over Syria as part of its contribution to the USA -led anti-ISIL coalition.

Russian Federation has fighter aircraft, air defense weapons and other military assets in Syria in support of President Bashar Assad's government.

The American F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down the Syrian SU-22 around 7:00 pm as it "dropped bombs near SDF fighters" south of the town of Tabqa.

Russia, Syria's closest ally, is now vowing to treat all USA planes in that part of Syrian airspace as targets.

Regime ally Moscow also condemned the downing of the Syrian plane, with deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov saying: "This strike has to be seen as a continuation of America's line to disregard the norms of global law".

The Pentagon said that pro-government militiamen had attacked SDF units, driving them from the town of Ja'Din.

Frants Klintsevich, the deputy chairman of the Russian Senate's defense committee, said the attack was a "blunt act of aggression and provocation".

The U.S. took the action in retaliation to what they believe was a "pro-Syrian regime forces" attack on the American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

Other reports by iNewsToday