Russian Federation to 'target' United States war aircraft in Syria



Russian Federation threatened to scrap the hotline after an April 7 USA cruise missile strike on a Syrian regime airbase in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack that killed dozens of civilians. It's an effort made more complicated by the increasingly messy battlefield in the Arab country, which includes deepening Iranian involvement - its first missile foray into Syria occurred Sunday - and an ongoing probe in the United States into Russian meddling in the presidential election.

"The worst thing any of us could do right now is address this with hyperbole", Dunford said at the National Press Club.

The Russian military alleged that in Sunday's incident, "the command of the coalition forces did not use the established communication channel for preventing incidents in Syrian airspace".

The ministry says it views the incident as Washington's "deliberate failure to make good on its commitments" under the de-confliction deal.

"There is every reason to believe that if someone previously had doubts that Russia is taking all the necessary measures to ensure the safety of its aircraft flights in Syria, then these doubts will disappear with the Defense Ministry statement", Sputnik quoted Russian upper house committee chairman Victor Ozerov as saying.

The dispute over the Syrian attack on the US -backed fighters and the American response came as Iran launched ballistic missiles at Islamic State strongholds in eastern Syria in retaliation for a pair of attacks by extremists in Tehran earlier this month that killed 17 people.

Tensions rose Sunday as the US shot down a Syrian Air Force SU-22 fighter that USA officials said had bombed American-backed Syrian fighters involved in an emerging battle to recapture the Islamic State's self-declared capital of Raqqa.

The US military statement said it acted in "collective self-defence" of its partner forces and the US did not seek a fight with the Syrian Government or its Russian supporters.

In Monday's statement, the Russian Defense Ministry said it considered the downing of the Syrian warplane "a cynical violation of the sovereignty" of Syria, and "a gross violation of worldwide law and, in fact, a military aggression against Syria".

Russia's defence ministry has announced it is ending US-Russian co-operation in Syria, which had been created to prevent a direct conflict between the two powers.

"I'm confident that we are still communicating", he said, adding: "I'm also confident that our forces have the capability to take care of themselves".

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