Russia warns US after downing of Syrian jet

19 Juin, 2017, 18:26 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Russia warns US after downing of Syrian jet

For the first time, a US fighter plane on Sunday shot down a Syrian aircraft, after the Assad regime's Su-22 dropped bombs near USA -backed rebels near the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.

A U.S. fighter jet shot down a Syrian government warplane on Sunday after the aircraft had dropped bombs on US-backed forces fighting so-called "Islamic State" (IS) fighters, the Pentagon confirmed.

A USAF F/A-18 fighter jet, part of the US-led coalition shot down a Syrian Air Force Su-22 on a bombing mission against anti-government forces.

Russian Federation has criticised the USA for shooting down a Syrian air force jet, calling it "an act of aggression" and "assistance to terrorists". The incident raises the risk of a wider, regional conflagration as the U.S. Assad, Russia, and Iran maneuver for control and influence in territory reclaimed from ISIS in eastern Syria.

The U.S. Central Command said the Syrian plane was downed in self-defence after "pro-Syrian regime forces" attacked an SDF-held town near Tabqa.

But in April, Russia briefly suspended a hotline meant to prevent midair incidents with the USA over Syria after the American military fired 59 missiles at a Syrian air base following a chemical weapons attack that Washington blamed on the Assad government.

According to the source, units from the Syrian Arab Army attempted to cross SDF front-lines in order to rescue their fallen pilot; however, they were turned away by the latter. In April, the United States itself accidentally hit an SDF position during a strike against what it believed were Islamic State forces.

"What is it then, if not an act of aggression, an act directly in breach of global law", Ryabkov told journalists in Moscow.

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The U.S. has long said that it would protect what it calls moderate Syrian opposition forces.

The shooting down of the Syrian SU-22 is another demonstration that the United States is prepared to resort to the most reckless means to defend its footholds in Syria and lay the basis for the broader war that is being prepared. Coalition aircraft stopped the pro-regime forces from advancing on Ja'Din.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also told the agency that a set of new USA sanctions that can be imposed on Russia will lead Moscow to retaliate.

The action appears to mark a new escalation of the conflict.

"The regime's forces have mounted large-scale attacks using planes, artillery, and tanks since June 17", Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Talal Selo said in a statement.

On June 8, a U.S. F-15 fighter jet shot down an Iranian-made drone after it fired on partnered ground forces in southern Syria.

Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard said it launched six Zolfaghar ballistic missiles from the western provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdistan.

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