Russia Draws A Line Across Syria After US Shoots Down Syrian Jet
Jun 20 2017 by Desiree Burns
"Repeated combat actions by US aviation under the cover of counterterrorism against lawful armed forces of a country that is a member of the United Nations are a massive violation of worldwide law and de facto a military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic", the Russian Defense Ministry said.
Russian Federation not only threw the usual diplomatic jabs by stating that the United States was violating Syrian sovereignty and breaking worldwide (which is ironic given Russia's less than legal annexation of Crimea), but also halted communication with the United States meant to prevent conflicts of air space.
Those forces, which are aligned with the U.S.in the campaign against ISIS, warned Syrian government troops to stop their attacks or face retaliation. The incident took place in southern Syria near a base where the USA -led coalition was training Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group.
It saidWashington had failed to use the hotline - a vital incident-prevention tool - before downing the plane near Raqa.
"We're going to do what we can to protect our interests", White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters Monday, defending the decision to shoot down a Syrian SU-22 jet that had bombed coalition partnered forces near the Syrian town of Tabqah. Dunford said Monday, June 19, 2017, that Washington and Moscow are in delicate discussions to tamp down tensions arising from the US shootdown of a Syrian fighter jet, which the Russians called a violation of a U.S.
In a statement Monday, the Russian military also said it is suspending use of a hotline that that was set up to prevent any accidental military engagement.
Pro-regime forces are moving on three fronts, south of Raqa, through the Badia desert region in central Syria, and along the eastern border.
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The U.S. said it had downed the Syrian jet a day earlier after it dropped bombs near the U.S. -backed Syrian Democratic Forces conducting operations against the Islamic State group, adding that was something it would not tolerate.
Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov condemned the attack, branding it an act of aggression which actually helped the terrorists the U.S. is fighting against.
Damascus stated that the plane was carrying out operations against Islamic State terrorists when it was downed.
It said several hours earlier, regime forces had attacked the SDF in another town near Tabqa, wounding several and driving the SDF from the town.
In a move that will fan tensions between Washington and Moscow, Russia made clear it was changing its military posture in response to the United States downing of a Syrian military jet on Sunday.
Ryabkov asked: "What is this, if not an act of aggression?"