Russian Federation threatens to treat USA aircraft as targets in Syria

Russia, which is backing the Syrian regime in the civil war, slammed the US action as a violation of Syria's sovereignty.

Earlier, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov branded the attack on the Syrian jet as an act of aggression which in fact helped the terrorists the U.S. says its trying to destroy.

In addition to its support for the SDF in Raqqa, coalition forces have been located in At Tanf, on Syria's southern border with Jordan, for more than a year where they have been training local forces.

"As of June 19, Russian Defense Ministry ended its interaction with the US under a memorandum for preventing incidents and providing safe flights during operations in Syria", the ministry said in a statement.

Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the USA and Russian military had been in contact after Moscow angrily announced that it was shutting down a hotline created to avoid unintentional clashes between American and Russian fighters operating in the skies above Syria and would even target us and allied planes if they strayed from their zone.

The Russian Defence Ministry said it was also immediately scrapping a Syrian air safety agreement with Washington created to avoid collisions and risky incidents.

"This comes at a time when the Syrian Army and its allies were making clear advances in fighting the [ISIS] terrorist group", it said, adding that the pilot was missing. "It seems that the US under Donald Trump is the source of danger for the Middle East and the whole world on a qualitatively new level".

"Obviously, we're going to do what we can to protect our interests", he said.

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The U.S. military's role in Syria has steadily escalated since President Trump took office, but even as fighting intensifies, the administration has said little to the public about its goals, nor has it released a long-stalled update on its strategy for the war-torn country.

The Pentagon said, however, that the bombing against the SDF in Taqba, to the west of Raqqa, occurred in spite of United States warnings.

BEIRUT, June 19 The United States and Iran have flexed their military muscles in unprecedented ways in Syria to deter attacks on their allies and interests, with Russian Federation warning Washington on Monday it would treat any USA -led coalition planes in its area of operations as potential targets after the US military downed a Syrian jet. Previously, it has been providing crucial support to Assad's forces.

The Islamic State group did not immediately acknowledge the attack. In November, the SDF began its military offensive, closing in on Raqqa in areas north and east of the Euphrates River.

Iranian officials threatened more strikes.

Iran said the missile strike targeted Syria's eastern city of Deir el-Zour on Sunday night and was in retaliation for terrorist attacks in Tehran earlier this month that killed 17 people.

Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard said it launched six Zolfaghar ballistic missiles from the western provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdistan.

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