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Russia Threatens US: Will Intercept 'Any Flying Object' in Syria Skies

19 June 2017

In a marked escalation of the war in Syria, a US F-18 fighter jet yesterday shot down a Syrian government fighter bomber for the first time, claiming that it had been attacking pro-US rebel forces on the ground near Raqqa.

Russia proceeded to terminate the hotline between Washington and Moscow used to avoid collisions between their aircraft in Syria, and stated that "All flying objects, including planes and drones of the worldwide coalition, detected west of the Euphrates, will be followed by Russian air defense systems as targets".

The Pentagon said the US -led coalition took the unprecedented move after a Syrian Su-22 attack aircraft bombed its allies who were fighting Islamic State militants south of the city of Tabqah, roughly 25 miles west of Raqqah.

"The so-called global alliance today (Sunday) noon targeted the jet over the area of al-Rasafa in the southern countryside of Raqqa while it was on a combat mission against the terrorist Daesh", the Syrian army said, using the Arabic shorthand for IS.

The statement said "a number of SDF fighters" were wounded in the regime's attack, but did not specify further.

They have very limited capability in Syria by comparison to USA capability, and that's just more talk out of them.

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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.

The coalition called its attack on the Syrian army's jet "collective self-defense", adding that it contacted the Russian military to de-escalate the situation after the incident.

Russian Federation has sensationally warned it will shoot down any "flying objects" spotted in areas of Syrian air space in which its planes operate.

On Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry called the attack "cynical" and "de facto an act of aggression" against a United Nations member state.

Later, a Syrian government Su-22 attacked the SDF forces with bombs, stated he CNN report.

Russian Federation is the chief patron of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been battling a civil war in his country against various enemies for years.

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Clashes between Syrian troops and SDF would escalate tensions in the country and open a new front line in the many complex battlefields of the civil war, now in its seventh year.

In comments to Russian news agencies, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov compared the downing to "helping the terrorists that the U.S.is fighting against".

The US had not shot down a Syrian regime aircraft before Sunday's confrontation, said Navy Captain Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesperson. Previously, it has been providing crucial support to Assad's forces.

"The coalition's mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria", the USA military statement said, using a common acronym for Islamic State.

The missiles fired by Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Sunday targeted IS in Deir al-Zor province, fast becoming the jihadists' last remaining foothold in Syria and a declared military priority of Tehran's allies in the Syrian government.

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Russia Threatens US: Will Intercept 'Any Flying Object' in Syria Skies