Russia condemns the downing of Assad’s forces warplane by the US, says Western coalition jets are now targets of its air defense

The Russian Ministry of Defense called the downing of the Syrian warplane by the US a “violation of the sovereignty" of Syria. The Ministry stated that any drones and aircraft of the US-led coalition in Syria flying to the west of the Euphrates River would now be tracked by Russian air defense and treated as targets.

The Russian Ministry of Defense demanded a "thorough investigation" by the US military regarding the Syrian plane incident.

Earlier, the United States Central Command explained that the Syrian warplane was shot down because it was dropping bombs near U.S.-supported forces.

The U.S. military said that before the strike, they contacted Russian armed forces through a special channel in order to "reduce the tension and stop the bombing". At the same time, the Russian Ministry of Defense stated that the Coalition command did not use the established communication channel to provide this information.  The Russian military command added that at the time of the incident there were Russian warplanes in the area performing their designated tasks.  

"We consider the actions of the United States command as a deliberate failure to comply with its obligations under the Memorandum of October 20, 2015 on the prevention of incidents and aviation security in Syria ", stated  the Russian Ministry of Defense.

Russia and the United States adopted a memorandum on the safety of flights in Syria in October 2015. The document regulates the actions of all aircraft and drones in Syrian airspace.

In April, Russia suspended the memorandum after the United States conducted missile strikes on the Syrian airbase. In May, the Russian military indicated their decision to resume the memorandum after the talks between the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, Valery Gerasimov and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Joseph Dunford.

  Syria, Russia, USA