US shoot-down of Syrian jet prompts Russian threat

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Russian officials on Monday threatened that their country would treat U.S.-led coalition planes in some parts of Syria as targets after the U.S. military shot down a Syrian Air Force jet on Sunday.

Russia’s defense ministry said planes flying in Syria, west of the Euphrates River, would be considered targets.

The news came one day after the first time in history a U.S. jet shot down a Syrian plane – and the first time in nearly 20 years the U.S. has shot down any warplane in air-to-air combat.

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170411-N-YL257-028 ARABIAN GULF (April 11, 2017) An F/A-18C Hornet attached to theExpand / Collapse

A ‘Super Hornet’ jet launching from the USS George HW Bush in April. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Christopher Gaines)

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.

On Sunday, it was a U.S. F-18 Super Hornet that shot down a Syrian SU-22 after that jet dropped bombs near U.S. partner forces taking on ISIS.

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.


The United States and Russia, which has been providing air cover for Syria’s President Bashar Assad since 2015 in his offensive against ISIS, have a standing agreement that should prevent in-the-air incidents involving U.S. and Russian jets engaged in operations over Syria.

The Russian defense ministry said it viewed the incident as Washington’s “deliberate failure to make good on its commitments” under the de-confliction deal.’


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A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on September 18, 2013 shows Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov (left) meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus.Expand / Collapse

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, left, meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. (SANA)

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, in comments to Russian 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.

Meanwhile, the U.S.-backed opposition fighters said Assad’s forces have been attacking their positions in the northern province of Raqqa and warned that if such attacks continue, the fighters will take action.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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US shoot-down of Syrian jet prompts Russian threat

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