Warplanes from the US-led coalition operating over Syrian airspace west of the Euphrates River will be treated as potential targets, Russia's Defence Ministry said on Monday, a day after the USA military shot down a Syrian air force jet.
The U.S. military confirmed a U.S. F-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian SU-22 on Sunday, after it dropped bombs near the U.S. partner forces known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.
The US military statement says it acted in "collective self-defense" of its partner forces and that the US does not seek a fight with the Syrian government or its Russian supporters.
Russian Federation on Monday threatened aircraft from the US -led coalition in Syrian-controlled airspace and suspended a hotline meant to avoid collisions in retaliation for the USA military shooting down a Syrian warplane.
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And it has demanded a full account of why the USA military shot down a Syrian SU-22 on Sunday.
"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 global coalition, tracked by means of Russian land and air anti-aircraft defense, will be considered air targets", the statement reads. The incident took place in southern Syria near a base where the USA -led coalition was training Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group.
According to the BBC, the Russian government, which backs the Assad regime, was angered by what it calls a "flagrant attack" that will have "dangerous repercussions", despite the us claiming it used the proper communication channels to warn the Syrian aircraft.
The Russian announcements came in response to the downing of the Syrian Air Force plane, which was the first time for the U.S. after it began fighting the IS in Syria, leading a coalition of worldwide forces, in 2014.
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"This strike can be regarded as another act of defiance of global law by the United States", Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Monday, according to Russia's state-run news agency Tass.
A senior USA defense official tells CNN the so-called "de-confliction line" remains open with Russian Federation.
In a high-profile incident in May US planes struck Syrian pro-regime forces, which they said threatened US partner forces that were being trained near Tanf in southern Syria.
He described the incident as an act of aggression. ISIS's capital of Raqqa is east of the river and is now the site of intense USA operations in support of its allies' push on the city.
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"As a result of the attack, the Syrian aircraft was destroyed", the Russian ministry said Monday, adding that the pilot ejected over an ISIS-controlled area and his status is unknown. Both recent US air-to-air engagements come after attempts by the Syrian regime and its proxies to attack USA backed anti-ISIS fighters.