Russia Cuts De-Confliction Channel with Washington after US Downs Syrian Jet

Russia will regard any flights within area of its air force group's operation in Syria as legitimate targets

MOSCOW- Moscow is terminating its communication channel with the United States under a memorandum for preventing incidents in Syria's skies, as a consequence for the US downing a Syrian Su-22 plane, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Monday, according to ItarTass.

"As of June 19 this year, the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation has ended its interaction with the US side under a memorandum for preventing incidents and providing for safe flights during operations in Syria and demands that the US command carry out a careful investigation and report about its results and the measures taken," the statement reads.

 "The shooting down of a Syrian Air Force jet in Syria’s airspace is a cynical violation of Syria’s sovereignty. The US’ repeated combat operations under the guise of ‘combating terrorism’ against the legitimate armed forces of a UN member-state are a flagrant violation of international law, in addition to being actual military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic," the ministry said.

Russia will regard any flights within the area of its air force group's operation in Syria as legitimate targets, the ministry stressed.

Russian missile defense will intercept any aircraft in the area of operations of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria, the ministry said, Sputnik said.

"In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying objects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets," the ministry affirmed.

On June 18, the Syrian army said that the US-led coalition had brought down its aircraft in southern Raqqa countryside when it was fulfilling its mission against Daesh.

Later, the coalition confirmed the information.

The US-led coalition command didn't use the deconfliction channel with Russia to avoid an incident during an operation in Raqqa, the ministry said.

Russian Foreign Ministry: US strike against Syrian plane assistance to terrorists

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told the media that Moscow regards the US attack against a Syrian Air Force plane as an act of aggression and assistance to terrorists.

"This strike can be regarded as another act of defiance of international law by the United States," Ryabkov said in reply to a question from TASS. "What was it if not an act of aggression? It was also an act of assistance to those terrorists whom the United States is ostensibly fighting against."

H.M

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