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.
A U.S. Super Hornet immediately responded and shot down the Syrian plane.
Russia's defense ministry says it will treat USA -led coalition planes in Syria, west of the Euphrates River, as targets after the US military shot down a Syrian Air Force jet on Sunday. The MINDEF provision warns about flights of the alliance aircrafts to the west of Euphrates River, which will be also considered combat targets, the mentioned agency said.
The U.S. said it had downed the Syrian jet on Monday after it dropped bombs near the U.S. -backed Syrian Democratic Forces conducting operations against the Islamic State group, saying that was something it would not tolerate.
The escalation comes after the USA shot down a Syrian jet that had been dropping bombs near US-backed fighter jets.
Both sides are battling IS - with SDF fighters focusing on the northern city of Raqqa and government forces attacking IS in northern, central and southern Syria.
Russian Federation said in response to the incident that it would target USA -led coalition jets in parts of Syria, the Associated Press reported Monday morning.
The U.S. described its attack as an act of "collective self-defense of Coalition-partnered forces". Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russian news agencies on Monday that the downing was akin to "helping the terrorists that the USA is fighting against".
Russia, which has supported Syria's president Bashar Assad and provided air cover for his offensive against ISIS since 2015, condemned the action on Monday. Clashes between the Kurdish-led SDF and Syrian forces have been rare and some rebel groups have even accused them of coordinating on the battlefield.
"What is this, if not an act of aggression?"
An Army spokesman at the Pentagon said at the time that the drone carried more weapons and was considered a direct threat, prompting the shootdown.
The new clash comes two months after the USA launched a barrage of Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase that had hosted airplanes responsible for a chemical weapons attack in Idlib province. He said government forces began attacking SDF on Saturday, using warplanes, artillery and tanks in areas that SDF had liberated from IS. The attack drove the SDF from Ja'Din, which is west of Raqqa, the coalition statement said.
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No civilians were reported killed in the USA drone attack, and the Pentagon described the operation as a success. Eastern Daylight Time, the Department of Defense conducted a strike operation against al-Shabaab in Somalia.
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