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emfizz.com September 22, 2017


Russian Federation suspends cooperation with USA in Syrian airspace

20 June 2017, 11:05 | Gladys Abbott

As Syria's complex war ramps up, the Trump administration is scrambling to tamp down tensions and avoid open hostilities with the Russians.

"I'm sure that because of this, neither the US nor anyone else will take any actions to threaten our aircraft", he told the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency.

FILE - In this June 13, 2017 file photo, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington.

"The worst thing any of us could do right now is address this with hyperbole", Dunford said.

The incident further complicates the country's six-year war and comes as a US-led coalition and allied fighters battle to oust the Islamic State group from its Syrian bastion Raqa.

The U.S. had not shot down a Syrian regime aircraft before Sunday's confrontation, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.

The United States and Russian Federation established the deconfliction line in Syria in 2015 to avoid accidental clashes between the two forces.

The U.S. described its attack as an act of "collective self-defense of Coalition-partnered forces".

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Russia's foreign ministry accused Washington of failing to use the hotline before downing the jet, and called for a "careful investigation by the USA command" into the incident.

Russia's defense ministry said Monday that, as a result of the U.S. shooting down the Syrian warplane, it would no longer abide by the 2015 U.S. -Russia "deconfliction" agreement, which was "aimed at minimizing the risk of inflight incidents among coalition and Russian aircraft operating in Syrian airspace".

The United States and Russia, which has been providing air cover for Syria's President Bashar Assad since 2015 in his offensive against ISIS, have a standing agreement that should prevent in-the-air incidents involving USA and Russian jets engaged in operations over Syria.

"In the combat mission zones of the Russian aviation in the air space of Syria, all kinds of airborne vehicles, including aircraft and UAVs of the global coalition detected to the west of the Euphrates River will be tracked by the Russian SAM systems as air targets", the Russian MOD statement reads.

Dunford would not address the Moscow statement, only saying that he was "confident that our forces have the capability to take care of themselves". Government forces seized the town of Rusafa, south of Raqa, a key stop near provincial oil and gas fields, the monitor said.

US forces tangled earlier this month with Syria-allied aircraft in the region. "The Coalition does not try to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them". The U.S. also has about 1,000 troops on the ground in Syria advising local fighters.

The US has called for an end to the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. "And we'll see if that's true here in the coming hours, because all of our operations in and around Raqqa and southern Syria are designed specifically to get after ISIS". Tom Shannon, the State Department No. 3, will meet Sergei Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister.

The United States, however, intends to continue their operations as usual in their fight against ISIS targets.



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