Sunday 17 December 2017

Russia vows to 'target' US-led aircraft in Syria after downing of jet

A US fighter jet has shot down a Syrian Air Force plane
A US fighter jet has shot down a Syrian Air Force plane Newsdesk Newsdesk

Russia has said it will treat US-led coalition planes in Syria, west of the Euphrates, as targets after the US downed a Syrian jet.

The statement followed after a U.S. warplane shot down a Syrian army jet on Sunday in the southern Raqqa countryside, with Washington saying the jet had dropped bombs near U.S.-backed forces and Damascus saying the plane was downed while flying a mission against Islamic State militants.

The Defence Ministry also said that it was suspending its interaction with the United States on preventing air incidents over Syria from June 19, the agencies reported.

The U.S. did not use its communication channel with Russia ahead of the downing of the Syrian government warplane, the ministry was quoted as saying.

The US and Russia, which has been providing air cover for Syria's president Bashar Assad since 2015 in his offensive against Islamic State, have a standing agreement that should prevent in-the-air incidents involving US and Russian jets engaged in operations in Syria.

The Russian defence ministry said it views the incident as Washington's "deliberate failure to make good on its commitments" under the de-confliction deal.

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