Russia ends interaction with US ensuring air safety over Syria

Russia ends interaction with U.S. within framework of incident prevention memo in Syrian skies after coalition downed Syrian jet.

From June 19, Russia is halting all interactions with the US within the framework on the memorandum of incident prevention in Syrian skies, Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday following the US-led coalition’s downing of a Syrian army’s jet near Raqqa.

Russian missile defense will intercept any aircraft in the area of operations of the Russian Aerospace Forces in Syria, the ministry said.

The US-led coalition command didn’t use the deconfliction channel with Russia to avoid an incident during an operation in Raqqa, the ministry said. Russia demanded thorough investigation into the US command’s actions related to the downing of the Syrian government jet  by the US-led coalition.

“In the areas of combat missions of Russian air fleet in Syrian skies, any airborne objects, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles of the [US-led] international coalition, located to the west of the Euphrates River, will be tracked by Russian ground and air defense forces as air targets,” the Russian Ministry of Defense stated.

Downing the military jet within Syrian airspace “cynically” violates the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic, Russian military said.