Australia suspends airstrikes in Syria after US downed jet

Reuters

An armed Russian fighter jet buzzed a U.S. Air Force Navy reconnaissance aircraft conducting surveillance operations in the Baltic Sea.

Another official was quoted as saying the Russian SU-27 jet was "provocative", "unsafe" and flying "erratically".

United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres warned that the recent incidents could be "very dangerous" and lead to an escalation of the war in Syria.

A USA military official told AFP the drone was "on a run toward our folks to drop a munition on them" and was shot down in self-defence.

On Monday, a day after the downing of the Syrian plane, 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 downing.

It was not immediately clear how close the U.S. military recon jet was flying near Kaliningrad, a Russian enclave between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies Poland and Lithuania. The bombs were so close the US sent an F-18 to shoot down the Syrian jet - the first time that's happened during the Syrian civil war.

But British defence chiefs insisted RAF operations against ISIS would not be halted.

The U.S. military has repeatedly warned forces fighting on Assad's side to stay away from a "deconfliction zone", agreed with Russian Federation, near a garrison used by U.S. special forces and U.S. -backed militia around Al Tanf.

The incident - the first of its kind since the US started fighting ISIS in Syria in 2014 - prompted Russian Federation to issue a threat to coalition aircraft flying west of the River Euphrates that they "will be considered air targets".

The US has said it has "repositioned" its aircraft used in the Syrian conflict to "ensure the safety of our aircrew".

It said the latest contribution brings the total funding from the EU Trust Fund for UNICEF's work on the Syria crisis response to almost €200 million ($223 millions). "We'll see if that's true, here", Dunford continued. "That link is still ongoing, here, this morning".

It later emerged that Russian Federation and the United States continued to use the hotline even after Moscow said it was hanging up.

PM Theresa May added: "There are deconfliction arrangements in place, and they shall continue".

Russia, a key ally of the Syrian regime, accused the US-led coalition of "complicity with terrorism" after the drone was downed in southern Syria.

Ryabkov said that he and US Undersecretary of State Thomas Shannon would meet in St Petersburg on June 23 to discuss problems in bilateral ties, Interfax reported.

On Sunday, US aircraft shot down a Syrian government jet that was bombing Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) positions south of Raqqa, in eastern Syria.

The RC-135 is a modified C-135 plane that carries advance sensors that allow airmen inside to detect and make sense of electronic signals.

The shootdown happened in the skies over Syria, when a Shaheed 129 operated by "pro-regime forces" flew near a Coalition military base near the Syrian city of Tanf.

In Iraq, the USA and Iran have a common foe, ISIS, and a common ally, the government in Baghdad. The area recently became a battleground as pro-regime forces repeatedly attempted to enter the 55-kilometer deconfliction zone that encircles the base, each time eliciting a swift and brutal response from U.S. Central Command.

US-backed forces has in recent weeks escalated its aerial bombing campaign in northern Syria and Raqqa province.

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