Russia: Any Aircraft West of the Euphrates Are Targets After Coalition Forces Down Syrian Jet

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Russian officials threatened to treat U.S.-led coalition aircraft as targets in parts of Syria after the U.S. military shot down a Syrian Air Force jet on Sunday.

Russia’s defense ministry said planes flying in Syria, west of the Euphrates River, would be considered targets. Russian officials also said they were suspending cooperation with the U.S. in Syria after the downing of the Syrian jet.

The Coalition headquarters in Iraq said in F/A 18E Super Hornet downed a Syrian SU 22 aircraft. The Pentagon said the Syrian jet had dropped bombs near positions held by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). According to statement, coalition aircraft “conducted a show of force” to stop the attack by the Syrian jet.

In a statement, the Russian defense ministry said it viewed the downing of the jet as a “deliberate failure to make good on its commitments,” to a de-confliction deal.

Sergei Ryabkov, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, said the U.S. was “helping the terrorists that the U.S. is fighting against,” by shooting down the jet. “What is this, if not an act of aggression?”

The coalition says the shoot-down was “in accordance with rules of engagement and are in collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces.”

Earlier this month, U.S. forces shot down a drone that was suspected of firing on U.S.-back troops in Syria.