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Tensions rise in Syria as Russia, Iran send US warnings

20 June 2017

In response, "Russia's ground and air defenses will track any air targets, including the global coalition's planes and drones, found to the west of the Euphrates River", the ministry said, adding that it is halting the so-called deconfliction coordination with the US aimed at averting air incidents.

The Pentagon issued a statement: "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 Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that as of Monday, all coalition jets and drones flying west of the Euphrates River will be tracked as potential targets.

Russian Federation also says it will suspend its participation in a "deconfliction" line that was established to prevent inadvertent clashes when Russian Federation began military operations in Syria's airspace 20 months ago.

US -backed opposition fighters said Assad's forces have been attacking them in the northern province of Raqqa and warned that if such attacks continue, the fighters will take action.

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The line has been a lifesaving - albeit imperfect - tool since it was set up soon after Russian Federation entered Syria's civil war in late 2015 to prop up President Bashar al-Assad. Russian Federation suspended the same mechanisms in April after the US struck a Syrian military base in response to a chemical attack, but resumed its participation weeks later.

The shooting down of a Syrian Air Force jet in Syria's airspace is a cynical violation of Syria's sovereignty.

Moscow has condemned the USA downing of the Syrian government fighter jet after it dropped bombs nears US partner forces.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard described the strike as revenge for Islamic State attacks on Tehran earlier this month that killed at least 18 people and wounded more than 50.

The move, the Times noted, marks "the first time the American military has downed a Syrian aircraft since the start of the civil war in 2011".

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The US military later said it was seeking to re-establish the hotline.

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.

The Syrian government forces' march toward the Jordanian border comes two weeks after they reached the border with Iraq for the first time in years.

What the recent incidents "indicate is a complicated and complex battlespace, and we continue to try to operate transparently and to communicate intentions around our actions so it is clear we are focusing on the defeat of ISIS in Syria", US Central Command spokesman Colonel John Thomas said on Monday.

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.

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