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Australia resumes airstrikes on ISIS in Syria despite Russian threats

Australia resumes airstrikes on ISIS in Syria despite Russian threats”

A United States jet has shot down an Iranian-made drone operated by forces backing the Syrian government in the south of the country, American officials say.

Australia has suspended all air operations over Syria in the wake of USA forces downing a Syrian jet and a warning from Russian Federation that US -led coalition planes are now targets for its forces in parts of the country.

"The armed pro-regime Shaheed-129 UAV was shot down by a U.S. F-15E Strike Eagle at approximately 12:30 a.m. after it displayed hostile intent and advanced on coalition forces", according to a statement issued by Operation Inherent Resolve, the USA -led coalition fighting ISIS.

"It displayed hostile intent and advanced on coalition forces", the statement read. This is the same location where another pro-regime drone dropped munitions near coalition forces before it was shot down June 8. Compounding the problem, Russian Federation pledged to treat all USA aircraft in Syria west of the Euphrates river as "targets" that would be tracked by their aerial defense systems deployed inside the country.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said the pro-Syrian forces are backed by Iran, and have been knowingly operating "inside an established and agreed-upon deconfliction zone".

Australia has suspended its airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria as a precaution after a USA fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane earlier this week.

A similar incident occurred June 6, and on June 8 a USA warplane shot down a pro-regime drone in Syria after it fired at coalition forces.

In recent weeks, US-led coalition's warplanes struck pro-Assad government forces to prevent them advancing from the Al-Tanf garrison in southeastern Syria at a spot where the country's borders meet Iraq and Jordan.

Australia has said it will resume its military air operations over Syria.

Both the United States and Russian Federation contend their forces are in Syria to fight ISIS.

Tuesday's encounter is the latest development in what's become an increasingly hostile standoff between the US military and the various forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's fight to stay in power.

Still, the Pentagon said it had not seen hostile action from Moscow.

That was a rarity in modern warfare, representing the first time the U.S. Air Force had downed a manned jet since 1999.

The White House responded by saying it retains the right to defend itself and coalition-allied forces fighting the so-called Islamic State in Syria.

On Monday, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps demonstrated some of its military prowess by launching ballistic missile strikes from western Iran against ISIS targets in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zour, according to The Guardian. The SDF has been armed and trained to fight ISIS. Afterwards, the Russians said they would consider any aircraft flying in Syria near the Euphrates River valley to be hostile and at risk of being fired on.



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