Royal Australian Air Force has halted air missions over Syria. As per the military’s statement today, it was temporarily halting air missions following the shooting down of a Syrian jet by US forces.
The suspension comes amid increasing tension between the US and Russia, with Russian officials describing the incident as a dangerous escalation.
A written statement from the US coalition in Iraq said a US F-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Government SU-22 after it dropped bombs near soldiers from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Russia made clear it was changing its military posture in response to the US downing of a Syrian military jet on Sunday, which, according to Damascus, is the first such incident since the start of the conflict in 2011.
Meanwhile, the US has moved quickly to contain an escalation of the situation, with a top general saying the country would work to relaunch a “deconfliction” hotline established in 2015.
Australia is part of the coalition fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) in Iraq.
RAAF has six fighter jets based in the United Arab Emirates that strike targets in Syria and Iraq.