Russia Halts Cooperation with US in Syrian Airspace By Stephen Lendman

21 June 2017 — Global Research

In response to the US-led coalition downing of a Syrian Su-22 warplane in its own airspace, a lawless aggressive act, Russia’s Defense Ministry issued the following statement:

“As of June 19 this year, the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation has ended its interaction with the US side under a memorandum for preventing incidents and providing for safe flights during operations in Syria, and demands that the US command carry out a careful investigation and report about its results and the measures taken.”

“The shooting down of a Syrian Air Force jet in Syria’s airspace is a cynical violation of Syria’s sovereignty. The US’ repeated combat operations under the guise of ‘combating terrorism’ against the legitimate armed forces of a UN member-state are a flagrant violation of international law, in addition to being actual military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic.”

Strong stuff, badly needed, the ministry adding:

“Any aircraft, including planes and drones of the international coalition, detected in the operation areas west of the Euphrates River by the Russian air forces will be followed by Russian ground-based air defense and air defense aircraft as air targets.”

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov minced no words, saying Sunday’s downing of a Syrian aircraft is “another act of defiance of international law by the United States.”

“What was it if not an act of aggression? It was also an act of assistance to those terrorists whom the United States is ostensibly fighting against.”

CENTCOM didn’t use the communication channel with Russia – established to avoid incidents like the Sunday downing of a Syrian aircraft, a flagrant violation of what both countries agreed to.

Henceforth, Russia’s sophisticated S-300 and S-400 missile defense systems will intercept foreign aircraft and drones operating in areas where it’s conducting combat missions in Syrian airspace.

Russia is committed to continue combating the scourge of terrorism in Syria, wanting it prevented from operating in its own territory.

Unlike America, Moscow respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations. Part of its mission is preserving them in Syria.

Its military operations scrupulously try avoiding confrontation with US-led coalition warplanes and ground forces.

Repeated US incidents of naked aggression against Syria’s military and its civilian population head things toward Pentagon warplanes potentially clashing with Russia’s – risking possible war between the world’s dominant nuclear powers.

A Final Comment

On June 16, Foreign Policy magazine, owned by a neocon/CIA-connected Washington Post division, said two Trump administration officials urge escalating US military operations in Syria more than already.

National Security Council senior director for intelligence Ezra Cohen-Watnick and the NSC’s top Middle East advisor Derek Harvey want greater US military operations in southern Syria.

So far Defense Secretary Mattis and Pentagon commanders haven’t upped the stakes this much – maintaining the fiction of focusing operations on combating ISIS, the scourge Washington supports.

In the wake of Sunday’s downing of a Syrian warplane in its own airspace while striking ISIS targets, it’s unclear if America intends getting more aggressive in northern and southern parts of the country than already.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

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Featured image: Sputnik

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Copyright © Stephen Lendman, Global Research, 2017

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