Russian fighter jet buzzed US Military aircraft

Cheryl Sanders
June 20, 2017

US aircraft were being repositioned Monday after concerns about the contested battle space, said Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the Baghdad-based Operation Inherent Resolve.

In addition to the "usual rhetoric" - the charge that the USA is violating Syrian sovereignty and breaking worldwide law - Russia's response is "a practical step", says the BBC, promising to treat coalition drones and aircraft as potential targets.

The escalation comes a day after the United States shot down a Syrian air force jet.

"As a precautionary measure, Australian Defence Force (ADF) strike operations into Syria have temporarily ceased", a defence spokeswoman said in a statement. Operating in both Syria and Iraq, the force consists of around 780 personnel, including 300 service members who work in its air group.

The White House responded on Monday by saying that coalition forces fighting the so-called Islamic State in Syria retained the right to self-defense, Reuters reported.

The Su-22 jet was shot down Sunday by a U.S. F-18 fighter as an act of "collective self-defense of coalition-partnered forces" after the Syrian aircraft dropped bombs close to American-backed fighters near the northern Syrian town of Tabqah, according to a US -led coalition statement.

The news comes after a US Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane on Sunday.

This comes after Russian Federation threatened that coalition fighter jets will be viewed as targets in Syria, following the downing of a Syrian regime's jet by the US-led coalition near Raqqa.

A statement released by US Central Command explained that the jet was shot down "in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces..."

Syrian President Bashar Assad has vowed to recapture all Syrian territory lost during the nation's civil war, Ford noted in an email.

Russia's foreign ministry accused Washington of failing to use the hotline before downing the plane near Raqa, and called for a "careful investigation by the United States command" into the incident.

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.

The push by the Syrian government forces in the Daraa area appears headed for the Jordanian border, two weeks after Assad's troops reached the border with Iraq for the first time in years.

A lot of forces with competing aims are at close quarters in eastern Syria.

The strike - which appeared to be Iran's first missile attack overseas in more than 15 years and its first in the Syrian conflict - came roughly two weeks after ISIS claimed responsibility for the June 7 attacks on Iran's Parliament and the Mausoleum of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran that left 17 people dead. "The Syrian fighter aircraft, which was shot down on June 18, became the last straw", Slutsky told reporters.

For most of the last two years the US and Russian Federation have coordinated their different campaigns in the crowded skies over Syria, but as their allied forces converge in the east that could prove more hard.

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