FILE – In this June 13, 2017 file photo, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington.
“I’m confident that we are still communicating”, he said, adding: “I’m also confident that our forces have the capability to take care of themselves”.
“I’m sure that because of this neither the US nor anyone else will take any actions to threaten our aircraft”, he told the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency.
The incident unfolded south of the town of Tabqa, near the IS stronghold of Raqa, the main focus for anti-IS efforts in Syria, after regime forces had engaged SDF fighters.
The U.S. had not shot down a Syrian regime aircraft before Sunday’s confrontation, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman. Russia’s Ministry of Defense now says it will consider any coalition jet west of the Euphrates a potential target. “We’ve communicated that clearly”.
On June 18, American armed forces shot down a Syrian warplane after reportedly seeing the jet drop bombs near a US -backed coalition group that had been fighting an ISIS unit.
Moscow also called on the USA military to provide a full accounting of why it made a decision to shoot down the Syrian Su-22.
“The Coalition’s mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria”, OIR said in the Sunday statement. The Euphrates runs immediately south and west of Raqqa where Coalition aircraft are supporting the advance of us -backed rebels into ISIS territory.
The Kurdish-led SDF – which is aligned with the USA in the campaign against IS – had warned Syrian government forces to stop their attacks or face retaliation. The Syrian jet was destroyed by the attack.
The US-led coalition conducted what the Pentagon said was a “show of force” – a reported buzzing of the pro-government troops by jets – to stop the attack and then called the Syrian government’s ally, Russia, to try to “de-escalate the situation and stop the firing”.
The phone channel was established in late 2015 to protect the multiple aircraft flying over Syria. Israel also is concerned about Iran’s missiles and has deployed a multilayered missile-defense system.
In response, “Russia’s ground and air defenses will track any air targets, including the global coalition’s planes and drones, found to the West of the Euphrates river“, the ministry said, adding that it is halting the so-called deconfliction coordination with the U.S. aimed at averting air incidents.
The shootdown was the first of a Syrian aircraft by the U.S. military since it began fighting ISIS in the country in 2014.
The downing of the SU-22 marks the USA military’s first air-to-air kill since 1999, when Serbian Mig-29 was shot down as part of NATO’s Operation Allied Force.
It’s believed to be the first time in nine years that “a USA combat aircraft has shot down a manned enemy aircraft in aerial combat”, The Aviationist reports.
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.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks Syria’s war, said government forced captured from IS on Monday the town of Rasafa, expanding their presence in Raqqa province.