Russia threatens after US downs Syrian warplane

Sergei Ryabkov Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia

"The United States has said its recent actions against Syrian government forces and allied militia have been self-defensive in nature, aimed at stopping attacks on USA -led coalition forces or their local allies.These have included several air strikes against pro-government forces that have sought to advance towards a US military base in southeastern Syria near the border with Iraq, where the USA military has been training rebels to fight IS".

Russia's defense ministry said Monday that military aircraft flown by the USA -led coalition over Syrian government-controlled areas west of the Euphrates River will be tracked as potential targets.

The incident came as a monitoring group reported the first ground fighting between Syrian government troops and the US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters. The Pentagon claims that Syrian regime-backed planes attacked a town held by the SDF, wounding a number of soldiers.

The announcement came after the USA shot down a Syrian regime fighter jet on Sunday, which the ministry called a "massive violation of worldwide law", according to ABC News.

"The Russian Federation has indicated that their goal in Syria, like ours, is to defeat ISIS, and we'll see if that's true here in the coming hours", he said. The spokesman made clear, however, that the United States would continue to "work with partners" to counter the threat of the Islamic State in Syria. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, suggested that broader USA and Russian interests will enable to the two sides to avoid direct hostilities in Syria.

The US statement said that coalition aircraft stopped a "pro-regime advance" toward an "SDF-controlled town".

Ozerov insisted that Russia will be tracking the coalition's jets, not shooting them down, but he added that "a threat for those jets may appear only if they take action that pose a threat to Russian aircraft".

A US jet shot down a Syrian government warplane after it attacked forces fighting against the Islamic State (IS) militant group, the USA -led coalition in Syria says. Following the pro-Syrian forces attack, the USA -led coalition contacted Russian counterparts via the deconfliction line to de-escalate the situation.


The US seeks to keep open the communication channels with Russian Federation over Syria but says it retains the right to self defense, according to the White House spokesman.

It said Washington had failed to use the hotline - a vital incident-prevention tool - before downing the plane near Raqa.

"From now on, in areas where Russian aviation performs combat missions in the skies of Syria, any air-born objects found west of the Euphrates River, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles belonging to the worldwide coalition, tracked by means of Russian land and air anti-aircraft defense, will be considered air targets", a statement from the Russian defense ministry read, according to CNN. "We view these actions by the American command as a conscious failure to uphold their responsibilities within the memorandum", the ministry said.

The SDF however accused the Syrian government on Monday of attacking its positions using planes, artillery and tanks.

"If the regime continues attacking our positions in Raqqa Province, we will be forced to retaliate ... and defend our forces", Selo said. And until now the overarching U.S. guiding principle has been to avoid such direct conflict with Assad forces on the ground - at almost all costs. The last known such instance was when a U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon shot down a Serbian MiG-29 in 1999 during the Kosovo campaign.

Russian Federation is one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's most stalwart allies and is supporting him militarily with air power, advisers and special forces as he tries to roll back Islamic State and other militant groups.

On June 18, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) announced that it had deployed several "ground-to-ground, mid-range missiles" from a base in western Iran at ISIS forces in the Deir Ezzor region, according to CNN. They marked the first missiles fired from Iran into foreign territory in 15 years.

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