US Jet Downs Syrian Plane in Raqqa


Earlier on Sunday, the Syrian Army said that "the so-called global alliance today noon targeted the jet over the area of al-Rasafa in the southern countryside of al-Raqqa while it was on a combat mission against the terrorist Daesh", using an Arabic acronym for IS. The shootdown was near the Syrian town of Tabqa.

"The Coalition's mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria", a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve stated in a release.

They are moving increasingly east, we have already seen a couple of skirmishes between United States forces and Shi'a militias backed by Iran south of here.

The Russian Defence Ministry announced that, as of Monday, it has ceased cooperation with the United States through its de-confliction channel established with the aim of preventing incidents in the busy skies over Syria.

In Monday's statement, the Russian Defense Ministry said it considered the downing of the Syrian warplane "a cynical violation of the sovereignty" of Syria, and "a gross violation of global law and, in fact, a military aggression against Syria".

Moscow also declared it would suspend the use of a military hotline meant to avoid conflicts between the US and Russian military campaigns in Syria.

In a statement, Russia's Defense Ministry condemned the U.S.' actions as "a cynical violation of Syria's sovereignty".

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The clashes come as both sides are fighting against the Islamic State group, with SDF fighters now focusing on their march into the northern city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of IS.

The SDF however accused the Syrian government of attacking its positions using planes, artillery and tanks.

The Pentagon said the strike - which happened after the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) reportedly came under attack from forces in favor of Syrian President Bashar Assad - complied with the "rules of engagement" and was in self-defense.

The line has been a lifesaving - albeit imperfect - tool since it was set up soon after Russian Federation entered Syria's civil war in late 2015 to prop up President Bashar al-Assad.

Frants Klintsevich, the deputy chairman of the Russian Senate's defense committee, said the attack was a "blunt act of aggression and provocation".

Iran's strike was the first time the country has launched missiles into Syria since the civil war began and pulls the country deeper into it.

It also said the USA shootdown of a Syrian SU-22 fighter was a violation of a 2015 memorandum of understanding on prevention of aerial incidents in Syria and that Moscow had therefore suspended their cooperation with Washington under the memorandum.