Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov in a strong statement said that US-led coalition’s attack on the Syrian government military jet as an act of aggression and assistance for the terrorists that the US is fighting against.
Russia has said it will treat US warplanes operating in parts of Syria where its air forces are present as targets amid a diplomatic row caused by the downing of a Syrian jet.
The warning followed after a US F-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian army SU-22 jet on Sunday in the countryside southwest of Raqqa – the first such downing of a Syrian jet by the US since the start of the country’s civil war in 2011.
Damascus stated that the plane was carrying out operations against Islamic State terrorists when it was downed. The incident comes at a time when the US-led coalition and the fighters its supporting on the ground are battling to oust so-called Islamic State (IS) from its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.
As per the statement from the US officials, the Syrian warplane dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah and was shot down in accordance with rules of engagement of Coalition partnered forces.
It is believed to be the first air-to-air kill of a manned aircraft by a US military jet since the Kosovo campaign in 1999.