Australia says to resume air strikes in Syria after Russia threat
- June Ramsey
"We're going to do what we can to protect our interests", White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters Monday, defending the decision to shoot down a Syrian SU-22 jet that had bombed coalition partnered forces near the Syrian town of Tabqah.
As regime and militia forces have begun advancing eastward, senior White House officials have been pushing the Pentagon to establish outposts in the desert region.
That incident prompted the Russian ministry of defense to announce that it would suspend the de-confliction hotline with the coalition which is created to prevent any accidents in the skies over Syria.
Fighting and bombardment, meanwhile, resumed early Tuesday between Syrian government forces and rebels in the southern city of Daraa and nearby areas, where a 48-hour truce had gone into effect Saturday.
Analysts say these incidents are tactical and not part of any military strategy in Syria.
In Syria's complex civil war, the U.S. backs some rebel groups opposed to President Assad, as well as fighters seeking to drive out the Islamic State (IS) group.
On Sunday, a U.S. F-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian government SU-22 after it dropped bombs near troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are now moving towards Raqqah, Daesh's Syrian stronghold.
Analysis: Washington has shot down aircraft threatening its allies in Syria, and will likely shoot down more, writes Paul Iddon.
Any US military activity on the territory of Syria is an illegal invasion on the territory of a sovereign state, the expert said, which the US should be held accountable for, including the downed Syrian jet. "That's accepting a high level of risk", the official said. That may partly be to avert yet another possible cross-border conflict.
Russia's deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said it was a "continuation of America's line to disregard the norms of global law".
Abdullah argued that the US position is being weakened by splits within the Trump administration over Syria policy.
The U.S. military has established a roughly 31-mile "deconfliction" ring around at-Tanf, warning the pro-Assad, Iranian-backed forces through a Russian deconfliction channel that movement within the zone could be considered hostile.
Gaining a land bridge will allow Iran to increase its already substantial shipments of arms to its Lebanese ally, Hizbullah, a militia and political party. That the Pentagon appears to be on the verge of sending thousands more troops to Afghanistan, a move sure to further prolong America's longest war, should serve to remind us of the perils of escalation.
The dispute over the Syrian attack on the USA -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. It is a prize that the regime also wants to claim. It also may stymie an attempt by American-backed Syrian rebels to push into Deir Ezzor from the south. According to Washington sources, the jet had bombed US -backed forces. The drone was observed in the same area where another UAV was shot down on June 8.
Both Syria's Su-22 and the U.S.'s F/A-18E Super Hornet are updated versions of 1970s aircraft, but Russian Federation and the US both have much more advanced systems to bring to bear.
The decision came amid increasing tension between the United States and Russian Federation, which warned it, would track coalition aircraft in Syria as potential "targets" and halted a military hotline with Washington over the incident.
Hostility towards coalition and partner forces "conducting legitimate counter-ISIS operations will not be tolerated", the coalition said. The YPG received air cover and materiel support from the US-led coalition and was reinforced by Iraqi Kurdistan's Peshmerga forces.
"Raqqa is tactical. Mosul is tactical", Dunford said.
Advances by the Syria-Russia-Iran axis offer the USA a way out of a bind over how to handle what follows the retaking of Raqqa.
The staunch USA ally in September said it would widen the scope of targets in the air war against IS by allowing its pilots to strike jihadist support and logistics resources in Iraq and Syria.
The Guards said a "large number" of militants had been killed and equipment and weapons were destroyed. ISIS is another name for the Islamic State.
"The worst thing that any of us could do right now is, would be to address this thing with hyperbole", he said during an appearance at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
Officially aimed at IS they were a clear statement to the US.
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