Russia Halts Cooperation With US Within Deconfliction Channel in Syrian Airspace

June 19, 2017 2:00 pm
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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.

"Russian Aerospace Forces' jets were conducting operations in Syrian airspace that time. However, the command of the coalition forces didn't use the existing channel between the air command of the Qatari airbase al Udeid and the [Russian] Hmeymim airbase to avoid incidents over Syria," the ministry said.

The United States and Russia signed the bilateral memorandum of understanding in October 2015 to ensure the safety of flights during combat missions over Syria.

On June 18, the Syrian army said that the US-led coalition had brought down its aircraft in southern Raqqa countryside when it was fulfilling its mission against Daesh.

Later, the coalition confirmed the information saying that it shot down the Syrian government forces' Su-22 aircraft as it had allegedly been bombing in an area where US-backed rebel forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), were stationed, south of Tabqa in the Raqqa province. The US-led coalition called its attack on the Syrian army's jet "collective self-defense," adding that it contacted the Russian military to de-escalate the situation after the incident.

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