After Washington shot down a Syrian fighter plane on June 18, the Russian Defense Ministry reacted by suspending its agreement with the United States on preventing air incidents.
“In the areas of intervention of the Russian air fleet in Syria, any flying object, including the drones of the international coalition [led by the United States], west of the Euphrates, will be monitored by the Russian land and air forces as targets, “the Russian Defense Ministry said on 19 June.
— RT France (@RTenfrancais) June 19, 2017
This decision by the Russian authorities follows the attack of a Syrian government-backed combat aircraft near Raqqa by the international coalition the day before, on 18 June. This attack inside Syrian airspace “cynically” violated the sovereignty of Damascus, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, which considers it a “military aggression”. “The command of the coalition forces did not use the existing channels of communication between Al Udeid air base in Qatar and Khmeimim air base in Syria to avoid the incident, He said.
Moscow therefore considers that it is “a conscious failure to comply with the obligations of the Memorandum on the Prevention of Air Incidents and Flight Safety in Operations in Syria”, and in fact suspends its cooperation with States United States under this Agreement as of 19 June.
— RT France (@RTenfrancais) June 16, 2017
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Riabkov said earlier that the attack was a umpteenth US breach of international law and was a form of assistance to terrorists. At the time of its downfall, the Syrian government plane was conducting an operation against Daesh, 40 kilometers from Raqqa. The pilot, who was able to eject over the territory controlled by the Islamic State, is at present missing.
This is not the first time that Russia suspends the Memorandum signed with the United States. This was already the case last April , after the bombing of Al Shayrate air base by Washington. The agreement was eventually reinstated in early May.
Credit: RT France