Russia 'vows to shoot down all flying objects' west of the River Euphrates in Syria after US Navy downs regime bomber

  • The US jet shot down the pro-Assad military plane on Sunday afternoon 
  • Pentagon says it was in defense of US-backed Syrian rebel under regime attack
  • Russia said it will shoot down all coalition aircraft flying west of the Euphrates
  • The Syrian air force SU-22 was shot down by a Navy F/A 18E Super Hornet
  • A communications line between Washington and Moscow has been suspended
  • That line was intended to help avoid mid-air collisions in the area
  • Russia claims the US did not use the line prior to shooting down the SU-22 

Russia has warned US and coalition forces it will shoot down any aircraft or drones encroaching on its area of operations in western Syria. 

The Russian ministry of defense said it is now treating any coalition aircraft flying west of the Euphrates as targets following the downing of a Syrian jet.

Russia said it was suspending co-ordination with the US involving 'deconfliction zones' after a US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Air Force SU-22.

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A US F/A-18E Super Hornet (file photo) shot down a Syrian SU-22 plane over Ja'Din, south of Tabqa, on Sunday afternoon after it dropped bombs near US-backed rebels fighting ISIS

A US F/A-18E Super Hornet (file photo) shot down a Syrian SU-22 plane over Ja'Din, south of Tabqa, on Sunday afternoon after it dropped bombs near US-backed rebels fighting ISIS

The US-fighter jet was defending Syrian Democratic Forces (seen in file photo on June 14) operating near Ja'Din, south of Tabqa, Syria

The US-fighter jet was defending Syrian Democratic Forces (seen in file photo on June 14) operating near Ja'Din, south of Tabqa, Syria

Russia is now vowing to shoot down all coalition planes and drones west of the Euphrates with its advanced 'Growler' missile system - which covers most of the country

Russia is now vowing to shoot down all coalition planes and drones west of the Euphrates with its advanced 'Growler' missile system - which covers most of the country

A communication line between Washington and Moscow that was intended to help co-ordinate flights to avoid mid-air collisions has also been shut down. 

Russia claims that the US did not use that line prior to shooting down the SU-22. 

The line has been shut down before - including in April, when President Trump ordered the bombing of a Syrian air base in response to the use of chemical weapons by President Bashar Al-Assad.

It's not clear how long this latest shut-down will last.

Russia has been providing air cover for Assad's troops since 2015 and has deployed its S-400 Growler air defense system in the Latakia Airbase on the Syrian coast.

The Growler has a range of 250 miles and can hit targets up to an altitude of 90,000 feet.   

The Russian defense ministry said in a statement that it was suspending the deal after the US military confirmed that it downed a Syrian air force fighter jet on Sunday after it dropped bombs near US partner forces.

'The shooting down of a Syrian Air Force jet in Syria's airspace is a cynical violation of Syria’s sovereignty,' the ministry said.

'The US' repeated combat operations under the guise of "combating terrorism" against the legitimate armed forces of a UN member-country are a flagrant violation of international law and an actual military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic.'

The ministry said it views the incident as Washington's 'deliberate failure to make good on its commitments' under the de-confliction deal.

Russia has already deployed  the S-400 Growler (pictured) air defense system in Syria; it also cut a communications line with the US that was intended to avoid air collisions

Russia has already deployed  the S-400 Growler (pictured) air defense system in Syria; it also cut a communications line with the US that was intended to avoid air collisions

The Growler has been deployed to Latakia Airbase on the coast and covers most of Syria. The system has a range of 250 miles and can hit targets up to an altitude of 90,000 feet

The Growler has been deployed to Latakia Airbase on the coast and covers most of Syria. The system has a range of 250 miles and can hit targets up to an altitude of 90,000 feet

The Pentagon admitted it shot down the Syrian jet after it ignored a show of force and a warning against attacking US-supported ground troops near Ja'Din, south of Tabqa on Sunday afternoon.  

Russia's deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov,  on Monday condemned the US for the strike, describing it as an act of aggression.

'This strike has to be seen as a continuation of America's line to disregard the norms of international law,' Ryabkov told journalists in Moscow, according to the TASS state news agency. 'What is this if not an act of aggression?'

Pro-Assad forces attacked the SDF at around 4:30 pm, local time, injuring several soldiers and forcing them to leave Ja'Din, the Pentagon says.

The attack prompted the SDF to call the Russian army to stop firing and 'de-escalate' the shooting.

'Following the Pro-Syrian forces attack, the coalition contacted its Russian counterparts by telephone via an established 'de-confliction line' to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing,' said a statement from U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS, Operation Inherent Resolve. 

'At 6:43 p.m., a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah and, in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of coalition partnered forces, was immediately shot down by a US F/A-18E Super Hornet.'

The Syrian government issued a statement after its military plane was shot down, accusing the United States army of supporting terrorism.

'This flagrant violation shows there is no doubt of the fact that the American stance supports terrorism,' the regime said in its statement. 

'It exposes the devious intentions of America in running terrorism and investing in it in order to pursue its Zionist-American project in the region.'

The Pentagon said the Syrian regime jet was bombing its partners south of Raqqa; US and Russian forces have clashed in recent weeks since both announced plans to retake Raqqa

The Pentagon said the Syrian regime jet was bombing its partners south of Raqqa; US and Russian forces have clashed in recent weeks since both announced plans to retake Raqqa

The pilot manning the aircraft flying was hit, according to the Syrian army, but his condition is unknown. 

The United States Army reiterated in its statement that its sole purpose was to defeat ISIS and not to fight with the regime. 

The statement said: 'The coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend coalition or partner forces from any threat.

'The Coalition presence in Syria addresses the imminent threat ISIS in Syria poses globally. 

'The demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces toward coalition and partner forces in Syria conducting legitimate counter-ISIS operations will not be tolerated.' 

Both sides have been competing over who will reclaim Raqqa, the ISIS capital.  The SDF announced just two weeks ago that it was launching its campaign to capture the town, and only a week later, the Syrian regime also said it was beginning its offense.

The US-led coalition as well as the pro-Assad regime have had shoot outs and launched airstrikes against each other in recent weeks.  

Russian foreign minister Sergey V Lavrov appeared to be unaware of the government's decision when speaking in Beijing on Monday. 

He said that he hoped the US and all other countries involved in the Syrian conflict would 'coordinate their actions,' the New York Times reported.

'We urge everyone to avoid acting unilaterally, to respect the sovereignty of Syria,' he said.

Raqqa is the capital of ISIS. Pictured are graduates of a U.S.-trained police force who are expected to be deployed in Raqqa

Raqqa is the capital of ISIS. Pictured are graduates of a U.S.-trained police force who are expected to be deployed in Raqqa