United States shoots down Syria plane, Russian Federation threatens retaliation
Jun 20 2017 by Joanne Wise
According to reports from the Syrian Democratic Force, the pro-Assad Su-22 jet fighter was targeting rebel forces attacking ISIS-controlled Raqqa.
Earlier, Syrian forces attacked coalition fighters in Ja'Din, wounding a number of fighters and driving them from the town.
Russia, Syria's main ally, also said it is suspending a cooperative pact with the USA aimed at maintaining airspace safety in Syria, BBCreported.
"We view such actions by the United States command as a deliberate flouting of its obligations", the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
On Monday, Russia's Ministry of Defense accused the USA 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. They also warned the U.S. planes Pcan be attacked if deemed necessary.
The ministry also called on the USA military to provide a full account of why it made a decision to shoot down the Syrian SU-22.
U.S. Central Command released a statement saying that "in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of coalition partnered forces, (the Syrian SU-22) was immediately shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet". Unlike the Western alliance, led by the United States and operating in Syria, the Russian aerospace defense force was called by Damascus to fight terror formations by the end of 2015.
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WASHINGTON - The U.S. military on Sunday shot down a Syrian Air Force fighter jet that bombed local forces aligned with the Americans in the fight against Islamic State militants, an action that appeared to mark a new escalation of the conflict.
"What was it, if not an act of aggression?"
Russian Federation is behind Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
"As of June 19 this year, the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation has ended its interaction with the USA side under a memorandum for preventing incidents and providing for safe flights during operations in Syria and demands that the US command carry out a careful investigation and report about its results and the measures taken", a statement from Moscow reads.
The downing of the government plane is the first time an American aircraft engaged in an air-to-air combat over Syria.
Russia, Syria's closest ally, is now vowing to treat all US planes in that part of Syrian airspace as targets.
In Syria, US-backed Syrian militias vowed to retaliate to any attack by government troops on their positions south-west of the city of al-Raqqa, the de-facto capital of Islamic State militia. American officials are still willing to utilize the hotline which coordinates air operations for Iran, Israel, Russia, Syria, Turkey, and the United States and their allies.