DAMASCUS, SYRIA (3:25 P.M.) – Russian military will track all the aircraft west of Euphrates river in Syria, including US-led coalition’s jets and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), as legitimate aerial targets, Interfax agency quoted Russian Ministry of Defense as saying.
“Any aerial objects, including warplanes and UAVs belonging to international coalition, spotted west of Euphrates river, will be escorted and tracked by Russian air defense systems both on the ground and in the air as aerial targets,” MoD announced in its official statement issued soon after US-led coalition brought Syrian fighter jet down in Raqqa province.
In addition to that, Russian MoD announced it had halted coordination with Pentagon on Syria after yesterday’s incident.
“As of June 19, Ministry of Defense halts coordination with U.S. counterparts within the framework of Memorandum on incident prevention and flight safety in Syria,” MoD officials said.
In the meantime, Franz Klintsevich, head of Defense Committee in the Russian Parliament, clarified that Russia “will not automatically shoot down aerial objects in the areas of Russian Air Force operations, as decisions are to be made individually in each particular case”.
He elaborated, however, that “in case of any aggressive actions by those objects, these actions are going to be firmly suppressed”.