Theresa May plays down risk of clash with Russian forces in Syria

Theresa May plays down risk of clash with Russian forces in Syria

Just before the shooting down of the Syrian bomber, United States officials say there was a movement of regime ground troops with tanks and artillery towards two towns near Raqqa that were held by US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

A US fighter shot down the Syrian SU-22 plane after Syrian aircraft made their second bombing run against Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) allied with the USA near Taqba.

Meanwhile, in northern Syria, the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa is now under siege by coalition-backed Kurdish forces, who, like most of the militias supported by the US -led coalition as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, are considered an enemy of the regime.

Australia on Tuesday suspended its airstrikes against IS targets in Syria as a precaution, after Russian Federation announced it was suspending the hotline and warned the us -led coalition not to fly over Syrian army positions west of the Euphrates River.

"As a precautionary measure, Australian defense force strike operations into Syria have temporarily ceased", the Department of Defence said Tuesday.

A Defence spokesman has told the ABC force protection was regularly reviewed and combat missions were continuing over Iraq.

Russia's defence ministry said the U.S. had given it no warning, following which Moscow was also suspending coordination over "deconfliction zones" that were created to prevent incidents involving USA and Russian jets engaged in operations in Syria, reports the Guardian.

In September 2015, Australia extended operations to Syria.

And as Isis is dislodged from its current strongholds and outside powers compete for control of the vacated territory, the potential for clashes has escalated rapidly.

"Australia is anxious about the suspension of the de-confliction line between Russian Federation and the United States as a result of the downing of the Syrian jet", said Chatham House's Khatib.

The official says the drone was considered a threat, and was shot down by a U.S. F-15 fighter jet.

The US defended its actions by saying that the Syrian plane was bombing in rebel areas that are supported by the United States and several warnings were given before the shooting took place.

At least 45 Islamic State militants were killed in the Syrian city of al-Raqqa, a UK-based war monitor reported on Tuesday. It also deployed about 780 military personnel.

Despite the fact that it was the first time that the US -led coalition had taken down a Syrian warplane, incidents such as these but on a smaller scale have been increasing.

A spokesman for Iran's Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Ramazan Sharif, said all six ballistic missiles it launched on Syria hit their targets, according to "local sources and drone films".

Robert Ford, a former USA ambassador to Syria, said there is real danger to the U.S.as tensions flare.

The deconfliction line between the two countries had first been suspended by Russian Federation in April after the United States launched a missile strike on a Syrian military airfield. US officials have not said who was operating the drone but have said it was made by Iran.

And a Russian fighter jet flew within five feet of a U.S. Air Force reconnaissance aircraft in the Baltic Sea, according to a USA official.

The Russian plane was armed and flew "erratically", the official added, noting that the maneuvers were deemed unsafe due in part to the proximity of the aircraft.