The Russia defense ministry says it will treat the United States led coalition planes in Syria, as targets following the shooting of a Syrian Air Force jet by the U.S military on Sunday.
Russia, a key Syrian ally condemned the act of the U.S. downing of the Syrian government fighter jet after dropping bombs near U.S. partner forces. In a statement, the defense ministry said that from Monday it will track all jets and drones of the U.S.-led coalition west of the Euphrates and treat them as targets. It also requested the U.S. military to provide a full account of why it shot down the Syrian SU-22.
According to Fox reports, the last time a U.S. jet had shot down another country’s aircraft came over Kosovo in 1999 when a U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle shot down a Serbian MiG-29. Russia’s defense ministry also said Monday it was suspending coordination with the U.S. in Syria over so-called “de-confliction zones” after the downing of the Syrian jet.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said to state news agencies, compared the downing to “helping the terrorists that the U.S is fighting against.”
“What is this, if not an act of aggression,” he asked.
The United States and Russia have a standing agreement since 2015, that prevents incidents in the air that involve U.S and Russian jets engaged in Syria.