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Russia warns US after downing of Syrian jet

Russia warns US after downing of Syrian jet

The Islamic State group did not immediately acknowledge the attack.

The attacks have showcased the depth of Iran's military presence in Syria: Iranian drones launched from areas around Damascus allowed Revolutionary Guard commanders to assess the damage done by the missiles in real-time.

It was also the first time the U.S. Air Force had shot down a manned aircraft since May 1999.

"We have taken prudent measures to re-position aircraft over Syria so as to continue targeting ISIS forces while ensuring the safety of our aircrew given known threats in the battlespace", Pentagon spokesman Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group.

In a sign of the deepening complexity of the brutal civil war, the U.S. air force downed a Syrian Su-22 plane on Sunday after it dropped bombs near the American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighting IS.

The Pentagon has now twice deliberately targeted Syrian President Bashar Assad's military and launched three other airstrikes against what it calls "pro-regime" forces - a sharp reversal of the hands-off stance toward Assad that the USA took during the opening weeks of Trump's presidency.

The U.S. military confirmed that one of its F-18 Super Hornets shot down a Syrian Su-22 that had dropped bombs near the U.S. partner forces SDF.

As it tries to craft a Syria strategy, the Trump administration is divided between those who consider Islamic State the primary enemy and some officials who think the war in Syria is part of an existential struggle between the United States and its Gulf allies on the one hand and Iran on the other, said a third US official, who has participated in government deliberations on Syria.

In response, Russia's defence ministry said it would suspend coordination with the United States over deconfliction zones and begin tracking coalition jets operating in Assad-held areas west of the Euphrates river.

In response to the shoot-down of the manned Syrian aircraft, Syria's ally in the civil-war, Russia, chose to cut off the deconfliction line - a communications hotline established by Russia and the U.S.to avoid mid-air collisions over the congested airspace in Syria - and warned it would track all USA and coalition aircraft with its air defense systems.

Russian Federation said it was ending the U.S.

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.

The top USA military officer says Washington is working to re-establish communications aimed at avoiding mishaps involving US and Russian air operations in Syria.

Speaking in Washington, the top US military officer said the two sides discussed the matter as recently as Monday morning but that further talks are needed.




Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the defense and security committee at the upper chamber of Russian parliament, described the Defense Ministry's statement as a warning.

Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov on Monday condemned the United States for the strike, describing it as an act of aggression. "That's why there's no threat of direct confrontation between Russian Federation and American aircraft". He said that if they do threaten a Russian aircraft, then "a threat for those jets may appear".

In another complication, Iran on Sunday launched ballistic missile strikes at Islamic State targets in eastern Syria, the first time it has carried out such an action.

Once that territory is retaken - and Islamic State militants are gone - the White House will have to decide whether it will continue to deepen its involvement and protect its partners against Assad's forces and their backers. The muscle-flexing comes amid the worsening of a long-running feud between Shiite powerhouse Iran and Saudi Arabia, with supports Syrian rebels and has led recent efforts to isolate the Gulf nation of Qatar.

"I hope that the clear message of this attack will be understood by the terrorists as well as their regional and worldwide supporters", said Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Revolutionary Guards' aerospace unit, according to the website of Iranian state television.

Some Trump appointees saw Iran's missile strike as an illustration of Tehran's regional ambitions, which they have argued make it an existential enemy, according to the three US officials. Israel also is concerned about Iran's missiles and has deployed a multilayered missile-defense system.

Before that attack, US officials informed their Russian counterparts.

Other Iranian officials were more blunt in their assessment of the attack.

The U.S. military has said it acted in "collective self defense" of its partner forces after pro-Syrian regime forces attacked the U.S. -backed Syrian Democratic Forces-held town of Ja'Din, south of Tabqah in northern Syria, and that the U.S. did not seek a fight with the Syrian government or its Russian supporters.

Clashes between Syrian troops and SDF would escalate tensions in the country and open a new front line in the many complex battlefields of the civil war, now in its seventh year.

The clashes come as both sides are fighting against the Islamic State group, with SDF fighters now focusing on their march into the northern city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of IS.

Government forces have also been attacking IS in northern, central and southern Syria, seizing 25,000 square kilometers (9,600 square miles) and reaching the Iraqi border for the first time in years.

A number of SDF forces were wounded in the attack, the statement from the Combined Joint Task Force said.

The U.S. anti-ISIS mission noted that it repeatedly warned pro-Syrian regime forces over the now cut deconfliction channel. On Sunday, Syrian forces seized control of the town of Resafa, an important junction on the road on the road to Deir ez-Zor, just 40 km south of Raqqa, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.


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