World

US defusing Syria tensions with livid Russia

US defusing Syria tensions with livid Russia

Sunday's downing of the jet and Russia's response on Monday further complicates Syria's six-year war and come as the US-led coalition and allied fighters battle to remove the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group from its Syrian bastion, Raqqa.

The U.S. military statement says it acted in "collective self defense" of its partner forces and that the U.S. does not seek a fight with the Syrian government or its Russian supporters.

United States forces in Syria will not hesitate to defend themselves or their partners, a Pentagon spokesman said on Monday following a threat issued by the Russian defense ministry earlier in the day.

Escalating tensions in Syria were drastically ratcheted up Monday morning after Russian officials threatened to shoot down US coalition aircraft supporting the anti-Bashar al-Assad regime rebels in Syria.

From now on, all aircraft and drones of the coalition detected west of the Euphrates River will be tracked by Russian air- and ground-based air defense systems as targets, the ministry warned.

US forces tangled earlier this month with Syria-allied aircraft in the region.

On Monday, the Russian military halted cooperation with its United States counterparts in the framework of the Memorandum on the Prevention of Incidents and Ensuring Air Safety in Syria.




The developments give new urgency to a meeting later this week between senior US and Russian diplomats that were meant to focus on irritants in the relationship that are hampering cooperation in other areas, notably Syria and Ukraine.

As CNSNews.com reported, the us downed a Syrian plane flying over Syria after the regime of Bashar al-Assad dropped bombs near USA -backed rebels near the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.

The United States claims that the Syrian jet dropped bombs on US -allied Syrian forces.

Moscow says it will "target" USA coalition aircraft in the west of Syria's Euphrates River after USA downed a Syrian jet. In April, Russia briefly suspended cooperation after the USA military fired 59 missiles at a Syrian air base following a chemical weapons attack that Washington blamed on the Assad government.

"This strike can be regarded as another act of defiance of global law by the United States", Ryabkov said Monday, CNN reported.

Australia has deployed about 780 military personnel as part of the US-led coalition fighting so-called Islamic State (IS) in both Iraq and Syria. Damascus said its plane had been on anti-Isis mission.

Meanwhile, Russian news agencies quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying on June 19 that the United States should respect Syria's territorial integrity and refrain from unilateral actions in this country.


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