A look at Syria's conflict, as mutual enemies close in on IS
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 20, 2017,
Jun 20, 2017, 22:55
Russia, Iran and the United States are drawing new red lines for each other in Syria, with Moscow warning Washington on Monday it would treat any US -led coalition planes in its area of operations as potential targets after the USA air force downed a Syrian jet, Reuters reports.
It's the latest twist in a conflict that one analyst has described as undergoing a "dramatic escalation" as an "uneasy battlefield coexistence" between forces with competing aims proves impossible to maintain.
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, said Monday that the downing of the Syrian jet, together with Iran firing missiles into Syria over the weekend, marked "a dramatic escalation in a war the United States had not meant to fight".
Russia, an ally of President Bashar al-Assad, issued a further warning to the United States after the jet was hit.
This is the first time that an USA jet shoots down a Syrian aircraft since the United States began operations against ISIS in the area.
A top Russian diplomat has condemned the United States for shooting down a Syrian Air Force fighter jet the previous day as an act of "aggression".
The Russian Su-27 jet loaded with air-to-air missiles under its wings came within 5 feet of a U.S. Air Force RC-135 recon jet "rapidly on Monday", Fox news reported.
This incident took place in the southern Syria near a base where the USA -led coalition was training Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group.
"And the Syrian regime and others in the regime need to understand that we will retain the right of self-defense, of coalition forces aligned against ISIS", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.
"ADF operations in Iraq will continue as part of the coalition". The Coalition's mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Russian Federation on Monday threatened to target global coalition aircraft flying over Syria in a sign of the mounting tensions in the region after an American fighter jet downed the Syrian government's warplane.
Russia, which is flying its own air war in Syria to prop up President Bashar al-Assad, condemned the incident and said it had shut off a special "deconfliction" hotline with the USA military, though top officer General Joe Dunford later said the United States was seeking to re-establish the channel.
Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said itwas a "continuation of America's line to disregard the norms of global law".
After the three encounters, Assad's forces wheeled around and seized territory to the north all the way to the Iraqi border, leaving USA forces and their allies largely isolated in the southeast and cutting off their path to the Islamic State group.
Earlier yesterday, Syrian troops attacked the SDF near Tabqa, wounding several and chasing them out of town, the coalition said.
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.