Australia says to resume air strikes in Syria after Russia threat

Aaron Brown
June 25, 2017

Moscow's threat comes after the U.S. downed a Syrian government military jet on Sunday. The U.S. has established a 55-mile "deconfliction zone" around Tanf and has warned any forces that enter it are subject to attack.

Russia, a key ally of the Syrian regime, accused the US-led coalition of "complicity with terrorism" after the drone was downed in southern Syria.

On Sunday, US aircraft shot down a Syrian government jet that was bombing Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) positions south of Raqqa, in eastern Syria.

"As the Islamic State's territory in Syria shrinks, the U.S.is increasingly being put in direct contact with Syria and its allies", said Bill Roggio, editor of the Long War Journal.

The incident closely followed Sunday's US downing of a piloted Syrian army jet in the southern Raqqa countryside after it dropped bombs near USA -backed forces. The US backs the SDF. At the time of the Assad advance Al-Baraa Fares a spokesperson for Free Syrian Army (FSA) group Mitaghawir al-Thawra (MAT) said: "The coalition is a partner of ours in the war against Daesh [the Islamic State], but when it comes to fighting the regime and its foreign militias, [the coalition] is not our partner."The role of the global coalition is to train members of MAT and to provide logistical support, weapons, ammunition and all that is needed to eliminate the terrorist Daesh".

Russia's defense ministry said a week ago it believed it may have killed Baghdadi when one of its air strikes hit a gathering of senior Islamic State commanders on the outskirts of the Syrian city of Raqqa.

While the country has been fixated on the ever-growing Trump- Russia scandal, healthcare and the latest wacky Trump tweets, we've quietly begun to go to war with Syria. The two countries support opposite sides in the conflicts in Syria and Yemen.

But they are going about it in very different ways which has seen Moscow and Washington regularly clash.

Washington says the Syrian plane was bombing USA -backed rebels.

A top U.S. general said the country would work to relaunch the "deconfliction" hotline established in 2015, after Russian Federation said Washington had failed to use the line - a vital incident-prevention tool - before targeting the plane near Raqa. That any coalition jet west of the Euphrates river, that bisects Syria, was now in danger of being shot down.

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Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said it was a "continuation of America's line to disregard the norms of worldwide law".

"What is this if not an act of aggression?" How permanent they may or may not be remains unclear.

Moscow stopped short of confirming it would shoot down Australian or any other coalition jets. As a result of the incident, Russian Federation has declared that coalition planes flying west of the Euphrates will be considered targets, a clear escalation of tensions between Russian Federation and the US-led coalition.

"ADF operations in Iraq will continue as part of the coalition", she said.

"I don't think [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wants this and will not take the chance to shoot down a United States plane with its SAM-400's". Prior to that shoot down, U.S. aircraft struck pro-Syrian regime forces as they advanced on At Tanf.

Syrian government forces and pro-government militias, supported by Russian Federation and Iran, are fighting both rebel groups and IS.

"The big losers are the Syrians and most of the other people of the region", Boyle said. With enormous stakes and an incredibly complex global crisis, how could anyboduy feel good about having this man managing the situation?

The link is a regular phone line staffed on the USA side by a Russian-speaking officer and has been used daily since its inception.

As the USA has intensified its fight against IS in Syria, Assad and his trusted allies of Russian Federation and Iran are increasingly asserting themselves.

Asked Tuesday whether the hotline was no longer being used, a Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said he could not discuss the matter beyond saying the USA stands ready to use the line.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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