Russian Federation will target coalition jets in parts of Syria, defence ministry says

Russian Federation will target coalition jets in parts of Syria, defence ministry says

Russian Federation will target coalition jets in parts of Syria, defence ministry says

On Monday, Russia's Ministry of Defense accused the US of "a cynical violation" of Syria's sovereignty, saying that Russian aircraft had also been carrying out combat missions in the same region - and that the coalition didn't use the deconfliction channels.

An American F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down the SyrianSU-22 as it "dropped bombs near SDF fighters" south of the town of Tabqa, the coalition said in a statement.Russia's defence minister said the pilot ejected "above IS-controlled territories" and that his fate is unknown.

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.

The United States has responded forcefully to Russia's threat to treat USA -led coalition planes in the skies over Syria as targets, as tensions escalate in the 6-year Syrian conflict.

The Russian Defense Ministry said earlier it would suspend cooperation with the United States and treat all "flying objects" operated by coalition forces west of the Euphrates River as "targets".

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In the area where the Russian aerospace force is carrying out missions in Syrian airspace, the aircraft, including worldwide coalition fighter jets, will be monitored as targets by our anti-aircraft systems, the Russian defense ministry stated.

Shortly after the Russian statement, Washington vowed to keep open the communication channels between the U.S. and Russian military forces "to deconflict potential issues".

US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces are taking the lead in the offensive, but so are Russian-backed Syrian army forces and pro-Assad militias.

The US coalition, whose mission is to defeat the terrorist group Islamic State, "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 US coalition said in emailed comments.

The US said the downed Syrian plane had dropped bombs near fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters battling to capture Raqqa from IS. Those forces, which are aligned with the the campaign against ISIS, warned Syrian government troops to stop their attacks or face retaliation.

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The downing of the Syrian bomber marked the first time in the six-year civil war that the US had shot down a Syrian aircraft.

Russian Federation also denied the United States had used a communications channel before the Su-22 fighter bomber was shot down, as claimed by the U.S. military.

Before it downed the plane, the coalition had contacted its Russian counterparts through an established "de-confliction line" to de-escalate the situation.

The dispute over the Syrian attack on the US -backed fighters and the American response came as Iran launched ballistic missiles at Islamic State strongholds in eastern Syria in retaliation for a pair of attacks by extremists in Tehran earlier this month that killed 17 people.

The downing of a Russian-built Su-22 attack plane by an US Navy jet on Saturday has prompted an increase in military tensions in Syria.

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