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US shoots down Syrian Air Force fighter

US shoots down Syrian Air Force fighter”

While the US has said since it began recruiting, training and advising what it calls moderate Syrian opposition forces to fight IS that it would protect them from potential Syrian government retribution, this was the first time it resorted to engaging in air-to-air combat to make good on that promise.

A day after a US Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane, a top Russian official called it an act of aggression that assists terrorists. The shootdown was near the Syrian town of Tabqa.

A Pentagon spokesman says the US had not shot down a Syrian regime aircraft before Sunday's confrontation.

The coalition does "not seek to fight the Syrian regime, Russian or pro-regime forces" but would not "hesitate to defend itself or its "partnered forces from any threat", the statement said".

"What was it if not an act of aggression?"

"This strike has to be seen as a continuation of America's line to disregard the norms of global law", Ryabkov told journalists in Moscow, according to the TASS state news agency.

Meanwhile, the US -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.

The downing of a Syrian government warplane by the United States is a step toward a risky escalation, and Moscow is warning Washington not to use force against Syrian government troops, a senior Russian diplomat told Interfax news agency on Monday. SDF forces are backed by the US-led coalition fighting ISIS.

Government forces have also been attacking IS in northern, central and southern Syria, seizing 25,000 square kilometers (9,600 square miles) and reaching the Iraqi border for the first time in years.

A number of SDF forces were wounded in the attack, the statement from the Combined Joint Task Force said.

In response, Russia's defence ministry said it would suspend coordination with the United States over deconfliction zones and begin tracking coalition jets operating in Assad-held areas west of the Euphrates river.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks Syria's war, said government forced captured from IS on Monday the town of Rasafa, expanding their presence in Raqqa province.

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The US did not use its communication channel with Russian Federation ahead of the downing of the Syrian government warplane, the ministry was quoted as saying.



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