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U.S. downing of Assad aircraft ups tensions with Russian Federation in Syria

26 Juin 2017

In another sign of increasing friction between the USA -led coalition and the force backing President Bashar Assad, a US strike fighter shot down an unmanned "armed pro-regime" combat drone after it "displayed hostile intent" in southern Syria on Tuesday, the Pentagon said.

"It displayed hostile intent and advanced on Coalition forces", the statement said.

A similar drone - an Iranian Shahed 129 - was shot down in the same location after it dropped munitions near coalition forces on June 8.

Coalition troops were working in the area alongside local forces who are being trained to fight ISIL.

Moscow has now suspended a hotline meant to prevent confrontations in Syria s crowded air space, and warned it could consider US-led coalition planes "targets".

On Tuesday, the Australian military said that it was temporarily suspending air operations over Syria "as a precautionary measure".

Davis said today is Day 121 of the operation to liberate West Mosul in Iraq.

Moscow's warning on Monday to US-allied warplanes escalated the threat of a direct Russian-American confrontation in Syria, following the first USA downing of a fighter jet belonging to Russia since the start of the civil war six years ago.

The US has moved quickly to contain an escalation of the situation after the jet was downed on Sunday evening when regime forces targeted the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters battling militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

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Now Russia has again suspended this line of communication, and again threatened force against the US.

The U.S. failure to coordinate with local forces prior to Sunday's downing of a Syrian warplane infuriated Russian Federation, which called the attack "a cynical violation of Syria's sovereignty" as well as "a flagrant violation of global law and an actual military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic".

"To be perfectly frank, no one can really match the U.S. in conventional terms, and certainly not Russian armed forces", said Borshchevskaya. A ministry statement issued in Moscow warned that coalition planes would be viewed as targets, and said a hotline for preventing accidental military engagement would be shut off.

Graduates of a US-trained police force, which expects to be deployed in Raqqa, salute during a graduation ceremony near Ain Issa village, north of Raqqa, Syria, June 17, 2017.

The increasing tensions in Syria have highlighted the dangers of the USA strategy in Syria, or lack thereof, where committed regional forces and allies aligned with the government have made vast strides toward ending the brutal civil war while the United States has backed the anti-government Syrian Democratic Forces and Free Syria Army, periodically attacking Syrian government forces on the dubious pretext of "self-defense". Coalition aircraft stopped the pro-regime forces from advancing on Ja'Din.

"In accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defence of coalition-partnered forces, [the Syrian jet] was immediately shot down by a US F/A-18E Super Hornet", a coalition statement read.

That was a rarity in modern warfare, representing the first time the U.S. Air Force had downed a manned jet since 1999.

"As the Islamic State's territory in Syria shrinks, the increasingly being put in direct contact with Syria and its allies", said Bill Roggio, editor of the Long War Journal.

Handel, 55, will become the first Republican woman to represent Georgia in the U.S. House, according to state party officials. The logical question arises why the USA in the face of a common threat of Daesh continues to strike the Syrian forces?

U.S. downing of Assad aircraft ups tensions with Russian Federation in Syria