Russian Federation wants U.S. explanation for downing jet

SATURDAY MAY 26 2007 file

Russian Federation threatened aircraft from the US -led coalition in Syrian-controlled airspace and suspended a hotline meant to avoid collisions in retaliation for the USA military shooting down a Syrian warplane on Sunday. Clashes between the Kurdish-led SDF and Syrian forces have been rare and some rebel groups have even accused them of coordinating on the battlefield.

Sillo also warned that if "the regime continues in its offensive against our positions in Raqqa province, this will force us to retaliate with force".

But their presence there has led to a series of confrontations with pro-regime forces, including on June 8 when a United States plane also downed a drone after it dropped munitions near Al-Tanaf.

The repeated incidents in the vicinity of the Tanf camp, where US forces train and advise local ground forces in the fight against ISIS, add to soaring regional tensions that could spiral out of control just as the fight against the extremists enters a crucial phase, with USA -backed forces pushing into the group's de facto capital, the Syrian city of Raqqa.

Fox News was first to report the incident.

Australia on Tuesday suspended its airstrikes against Islamic State group targets in Syria as a precaution, after a USA fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane earlier this week and Russian Federation warned the US -led coalition from flying over Syrian army positions west of the Euphrates River.

The pro-government forces are not fighting the battle for Raqqa, but they have been making ground against IS in the surrounding area, south-west of the city.

The US-led coalition said Tuesday that it had killed IS's self-proclaimed top cleric, Turki Binali, in an air strike in May on the Syrian town of Mayadeen near the Iraqi border.

The advance of pro-government forces, backed by Russian Federation and Iran, against ISIS has been frustrated by the presence of US operation forces and allied insurgent groups in southern Syria.

Sharif told The Associated Press that the missile launch reflected Iran's "military power", though Iran has no intention of starting another war.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the eastern neighborhood of Jobar was struck on Tuesday by 12 airstrikes, adding that government forces are trying to push into the area. The 48-hour truce that had started there at noon Saturday was supposed to be extended.

Iran has been a key ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, sending military advisers and thousands of "volunteer" troops.

It was not known what exactly was hit and Iran has provided no details. The crisis quickly became a civil war, which has since left at least 400,000 people dead.

Coalition forces are using the Al-Tanaf base by Syria's borders with Jordan and Iraq to train anti-jihadist Syrian fighters and stage attacks against IS.

He says: "We are not the initiator of any conflict and war but we do not tolerate creation of insecurity in our country".

The missile attack came amid recent confrontations in Syria between USA -backed forces and Iranian-backed pro-government factions.

It also raised questions about how U.S. President Donald Trump's administration, which had previously put Iran "on notice" for its ballistic missile tests, will respond.

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