Australia suspends airstrikes in Syria after U.S. downs Syrian jet

Vincent Carr
June 20, 2017

In a move that will fan tensions between Washington and Moscow, Russia made clear it was changing its military posture in response to the USA downing of the jet.Russia, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, said it would treat us -led coalition aircraft flying west of the Euphrates River in Syria as potential targets and track them with missile systems and military aircraft.

Australia has halted air operations over Syria after Russian Federation said it would target US-led coalition planes in retaliation for a Navy fighter jet shooting down a Syrian warplane.

Russian Federation is the main ally of the Syrian regime and strongly protested the us shootdown.

A Syrian jet was shot down by a USA warplane on Sunday in an area close to Raqqa which is now held by the Islamic State. Russian Federation said that its aircraft had been conducting operations in the area at the time.

Officials called the drones actions "unacceptable" and said the US shot it down before it was too late to protect the troops on the ground.

On Sunday, U.S. military said it shot down the Syrian SU-22 plane in self-defense and after contacting Russian counterparts through the established de-confliction line.

The Syrian army on the other hand said their jet was taken down while flying to attack Daesh militants.

Air force operations in Iraq will resume, the ADF said.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said than an Iranian missile strike on militant positions in eastern Syria on Sunday was meant to serve as a warning to Saudi Arabia and the USA, the Associated Press reported.

"The worst thing any of us could do right now is address this with hyperbole", Dunford said.

Dunford said he did not have immediate plans to contact his Russian Federation counterpart, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, but that he would talk to him "in time".

It also raised questions about how U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, which had previously put Iran "on notice" for its ballistic missile tests, will respond.

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While both the U.S. and Russia say their forces are in Syria to fight ISIS, Russia has allied itself with the regime of Syrian President Bahsar al-Assad while the US-led coalition has aligned with groups that oppose both the Assad regime and ISIS. The U.S-led coalition conducted a "show of force" and stopped the initial assault.

Earlier yesterday, Syrian troops attacked the SDF near Tabqa, wounding several and chasing them out of town, the coalition said.

Russia, which entered the Syrian civil war in 2015 to support the beleaguered regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a long-time ally, has long claimed that the United States involvement in the war without the regime's permission violates worldwide law. The last time a USA pilot shot down an manned enemy aircraft was in 1999.

A U.S. fighter jet has shot down a pro-Syrian regime drone just outside the Syrian de-confliction zone, USA officials say.

"I'm sure that because of this, neither the US nor anyone else will take any actions to threaten our aircraft", he told the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency. This was the first time that the United States had shot down a Syrian jet.

Pentagon revealed that the incident happened after a Syrian attack aircraft, SU-22, bombed US allies fighting militants from the Daesh (Arabic word for Islamic State).

According to an assessment by the US Defense Intelligence Agency in May, ISIS is "moving key leaders and functions out of Mosul and Raqqa, relocating them to safe havens along the Euphrates River in Syria and Iraq". "This is the same location where another pro-regime UAV dropped munitions near Coalition forces before it was shot down, June 8".

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that the USA will "do what we can to protect our interests".

Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Monday he is confident that "we are still communicating", adding that he is also confident that the United States forces "have the capability to take care of themselves".

Late Sunday, the elite Revolutionary Guards launched six missiles from western Iran into Syria's mostly Islamic State group-held Deir Ezzor province, hitting an IS command base, the Guards said.

It appeared to be Iran's first missile attack overseas in over 15 years and its first in the Syrian conflict, in which it has provided crucial support to Assad.

Other reports by BadHub

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