Russia warned it wil treat US-led coalition planes in Syria west of the Euphrates as targets as the nation’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov described the shooting as a “dangerous escalation”
But the US Central Command said they had shot the plane out of the sky on Sunday in “self defence” as it flew over the war-torn country.
Reacting to the incident, Mr Ryabkov said it was an “act of aggression and support of terrorists”.
He said: “What is it then, if not an act of aggression, an act directly in breach of international law.
“If you want, it’s actually help for the terrorists the US is fighting, declaring that they are conducting a counterterrorism policy.”
Mr Ryabkov warned Washington it must respect the territorial sovereignty of Syria before warning Moscow would retaliate over new sanctions on Russia, agreed by the Senate in Washington DC last week.
The Syrian regime’s SU-22 aircraft is said to have dropped bombs near coalition-backed fighters, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). But while the Syrian government says its plane was bombing the barbaric Islamic State (ISIS), the US insisted it was not an attack anti-ISIS rebels.
A US F/A-18E Super Hornet immediately retaliated with a “show of force” and shot the plane down.
The US-led coalition said it was targeted “in collective self-defence of Coalition-partnered forces.”
The coalition issued a statement saying: “Coalition aircraft conducted a show of force and stopped the initial pro-regime advance toward the SDF-controlled town.
“The Coalition’s mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria.The Coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat.
“The Coalition presence in Syria addresses the imminent threat ISIS in Syria poses globally. The demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces toward Coalition and partner forces in Syria conducting legitimate counter-ISIS operations will not be tolerated.
“The Coalition calls on all parties to focus their efforts on the defeat of ISIS, which is our common enemy and the greatest threat to regional and worldwide peace and security.”
The latest escalation comes amid simmering tensions between Russia and the US over hacking claims of the American election, the Syrian War and sanctions on Moscow.
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