Russia has responded aggressively to an American fighter jet’s shooting down of a Syrian warplane Sunday. The U.S. took the action in retaliation to what they believe was a “pro-Syrian regime forces” attack on the American-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
The Russian Defense Ministry said not only will it suspend the hotline between Russia and the U.S. intended to avoid conflict, but it will now consider any U.S. plane in the region a “target.”
Russia said it would now “end co-operation with the American side.”“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,” it said.
The U.S. Central Command is defending the air-to-air combat in Syria, arguing they are taking necessary steps to weaken ISIS’s stronghold in the region.
These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group's ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world.
Furthermore, Col. Ryan Dillon told The New York Times that they don’t plan to stop anytime soon.
“We are going to continue to conduct operations throughout Syria, providing air support for coalition and partnered forces on the ground,” he said.
The U.S.-led coalition could not stress enough that they are targeting ISIS and not Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime, but will also "not hesitate" to defend its forces from anyone they deem a threat.