Russian Federation threatens after United States downs Syrian warplane
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 20, 2017,
Jun 20, 2017, 23:13
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", the statement said.
Following the fighter jet's downing, Moscow suspended an incident hotline meant to prevent confrontations in Syria's crowded air space, and warned it could consider US-led coalition planes "targets".
A spokesman for Australia's defence department confirmed strike operations in Syria have temporarily ceased.
"ADF force protection is regularly reviewed in response to a range of potential threats".
Australia has six fighter jets based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that strike targets in Syria and Iraq.
The Prime Minister pointed to "deconfliction arrangements" with Moscow, which are created to prevent mid-air incidents between coalition and Russian planes operating in the crowded airspace over Syria.
The coalition's alliance with armed groups that have previously been involved in anti-regime operations means that the formation of a unified front against ISIS in Syria is extremely unlikely.
Syria said that the fighter jet that was downed was on a combat mission against Islamic State.
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. The U.S. needed to send a deterrent message or Syrian President Bashar Assad will continue to press his offensive across SDF-held territory. 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.
The incident - the first of its kind since the US started fighting ISIS in Syria in 2014 - prompted Russian Federation to issue a threat to coalition aircraft flying west of the River Euphrates that they "will be considered air targets". It also deployed about 780 military personnel. It is the second time in the past three months that Russian Federation has suspended its Syrian air safety agreement with the U.S.
Robert Ford, a former US ambassador to Syria, said there is real danger to the U.S.as tensions flare.
It was the first time the U.S. Air Force had shot down a warplane since May 1999.
According to Fox News, the Baltic region has had 35 USA and Russian interaction just this month and was the site of a us military training exercise, including the use of bombers and warships, leading to "heightened tensions with Russia".
It was an Iranian-made Shahed 129 and was thought to be armed and in firing range of USA troops.
The Russian plane was armed and flew "erratically", the official added, noting that the maneuvers were deemed unsafe due in part to the proximity of the aircraft.