Russia warns US after Syrian warplane downed

  • Tuesday 20, June 2017 in 12:27 AM
  • US Navy photo shows an F/A-18E Super Hornet
Sharjah 24-AFP: Russia on Monday warned it would track US-led coalition aircraft in Syria as potential "targets" and halted a military hotline with Washington after US forces downed a Syrian jet.
The United States moved quickly to contain an escalation, with a top general saying it would work to relaunch the "deconfliction" hotline established in 2015.
 
The downing of the jet and Russia's response came as the US-led coalition and allied fighters battle to oust Daesh from its Syrian bastion Raqa.
 
Analysts say neither Washington nor President Bashar al-Assad's regime appear to be seeking further confrontation, although the risks remain high in Syria's increasingly crowded battlefields and airspace.
 
"Any flying objects, including planes and drones of the international coalition, discovered west of the Euphrates River will be tracked as aerial targets by Russia's air defences on and above ground," said Russia's foreign ministry.
 
It said Washington had failed to use the hotline -- a vital incident-prevention tool -- before downing the plane near Raqa.
 
"We will work diplomatically and militarily in the coming hours to re-establish deconfliction," said US General Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, referring to the hotline.