BREAKING: Russia Halts Cooperation with US in Syria, Citing US Support for ISIS – Will ‘Intercept Any Aircraft’
Following the United States’ decision to shoot down a Syrian warplane, Russia has spoken out in support of the Syrian government, and has announced that will shoot down any U.S. warplanes in its airspace.
The Russian Ministry of Defense released a statement announcing that it is halting cooperation with the U.S. and its allies “in the framework of the Memorandum on the Prevention of Incidents and Ensuring Air Safety in Syria” following the coalition’s downing of a Syrian warplane on Sunday.
“In the areas of combat missions of Russian air fleet in Syrian skies, any airborne objects, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles of the [US-led] international coalition, located to the west of the Euphrates River, will be tracked by Russian ground and air defense forces as air targets.”
The Russian Defense Ministry also called for a thorough investigation into the coalition’s decision to shoot down the Syrian government’s military aircraft, noting that the incident “cynically violates” the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic.
“What is it then, if not an act of aggression, an act directly in breach of international law,” Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told journalists in Moscow, quoted by Russia’s RIA news agency.
“If you want, it’s actually help for the terrorists the US is fighting, declaring that they are conducting a counterterrorism policy,” the deputy foreign minister added.
In the statement, the ministry said the U.S. Air Force had committed an act of “military aggression” against Syria, and it referred to the incident as “a conscious failure to comply with the obligations under the Memorandum on the Prevention of Incidents and Ensuring Air Safety in Syria.”
“The command of the coalition forces did not use the existing communication channel between the air commands of Al Udeid Airbase (in Qatar) and the Khmeimim