Russia Won’t Down Every Coalition’s Aircraft in Syria Automatically – Senator
Russia will not automatically destroy any aerial objects in the areas of its Aerospace Forces’ actions in Syria, the decisions will be made on individual basis, First Deputy Chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Committee on Defense and Security Frants Klintsevich told Sputnik on Monday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the Russian Defense Ministry said that any aircraft and drone in the area of Russian Aerospace Forces’s operations on Syria would be tracked by the air defense systems as aerial targets. Moreover, Russia halted all interactions with the US within the framework on the memorandum of incident prevention in Syrian skies. The move came following the US-led coalition’s downing of a Syrian army’s jet near Raqqa.
“The decisions will be made in each case individually, the targets will not be attacked automatically. But in case of aggressive acts from the United States, these actions will be strictly stopped by the Russian Aerospace Forces,” Klintsevich said.
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 saying that it shot down the Syrian government forces’ Su-22 aircraft as it had allegedly been bombing in an area where US-backed rebel forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), were stationed, south of Tabqa in the Raqqa province. The US-led coalition called its attack on the Syrian army’s jet “collective self-defense,” adding that it contacted the Russian military to de-escalate the situation after the incident.
The Russian Defense Ministry called the attack “cynical” and “de facto an act of aggression” against a UN member state.