Moscow warns US jets flying over Syria will be tracked as targets

Russia tells Washington not to use force against Bashar al Assad's troops after the US failed to communicate about the Syrian warplane it targeted on Sunday.

Photo by: Reuters Archive
Photo by: Reuters Archive

An F/A-18E Super Hornet takes off from the flight deck of the US Navy aircraft carrier USS Nimitz on October 29, 2016.

Russia's defence ministry on Monday condemned the United States downing of a Syrian plane in southern Raqqa.

Russia said it would now track all coalition flights west of the Euphrates River while suspending its use of a military hotline set up with the US for avoiding incidents in Syrian airspace.

Washington said the jet had dropped bombs near US-backed forces with Damascus saying the plane was downed while flying a mission against Daesh militants.

TRT World's Alaattin Kilic and Julia Lyubova have more.

Moscow accused the US of failing to use the established communication hotline to warn Russia about the downing of the plane on Sunday.

"The command of the coalition forces did not use the established communication channel for preventing incidents in Syrian airspace," the defence ministry said. 

As a result, it now "ends cooperation with the American side from June 19 based on a memorandum for prevention of incidents and ensuring the safety of air flights during operations in Syria, and demands a careful investigation by the US command" of the downing.

"Any flying objects, including planes and drones of the international coalition, discovered west of the Euphrates River will be tracked as aerial targets by Russia's air defences on and above ground," it said.

"Respect Syria's sovereignty"

The US should respect Syria's territorial integrity and refrain from unilateral actions in the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday in Beijing where a two-day conference of BRICS ministers was taking place.

"We call on the US and all the others who have forces or advisers on the ground to ensure our work is coordinated. The zones of de-escalation are one of the possible options for joint progress. We call on everybody to avoid unilateral actions, to respect - I stress once again - Syria's sovereignty and to join our work which is coordinated with the Syrian government."

Lavrov also said that a new round of peace talks on Syria in Kazakhstan's capital Astana would take place on July 10.

Russia had also said it was suspending its use of the Syria hotline after US forces struck a Syrian airbase in April, but the communications had continued.

Source: 
TRTWorld and agencies