MOSCOW, Russia (Kurdistan24) – Russia on Monday warned Washington it would target coalition jets flying west of the Euphrates River in Syria following the US downing of a Syrian plane.
The Russian Defense Ministry criticized the US’ shooting down of a Syrian regime fighter jet on Sunday, labeling the incident a “massive violation of international law.”
The plane was shot down after it targeted Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) battling the Islamic State (IS), according to a US statement.
The event was the first time the US had engaged in air-to-air combat in Syria or with any other country’s aircraft since 1999.
A Russian Defense Ministry statement slammed the US’ action, adding it was “military aggression” against Syria.
“Repeated combat actions by US aviation under the cover of counterterrorism against lawful armed forces [is] a massive violation of international law,” the report read.
Russia has been supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government in a civil war against rebel forces.
The Defense Ministry added US planes would be tracked and targeted “in the areas where Russian aviation is on combat missions in the Syrian sky.”
In a statement, the US-led coalition emphasized its focus was on defeating the threat of IS, and not targeting Syrian or Russian forces.
“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 statement said.
“The demonstrated hostile intent…toward coalition and partner forces in Syria conducting legitimate counter-[IS] operations will not be tolerated,” the report concluded.