WASHINGTON — Russia says it will treat US-led coalition planes in Syria, west of the Euphrates, as targets after the US downed a Syrian jet.
Russia’s defense ministry also says it is suspending coordination with the United States in Syria over so-called “de-confliction zones” after the Americans shot down the Syrian government fighter jet.
The U.S. military confirmed a U.S. F-18 Super Hornet shot down Sunday a Syrian SU-22 after it dropped bombs near the U.S. partner forces, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, aligned with the Americans in the fight against the Islamic State group.
Russia has been a staunch supporter of Syria’s beleaguered President Bashar Assad and has been providing an air cover for this offensive since 2015.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russian news agencies on Monday that the downing was akin to “helping the terrorists that the U.S. is fighting against.”
Ryabkov asks: “What is this, if not an act of aggression?”
The United States and Russia, which has been providing an air cover for Syria’s President Bashar Assad since 2015 in his offensive against the Islamic State group, have a standing agreement that should prevent in-the-air incidents involving U.S.