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Russia Warns US Jets in Syria Will Be 'Targets'


Russia on Monday condemned the American military's downing of a Syrian warplane. 

Now Russian officials have suspended the use of a military hotline that Washington and Moscow have used to avoid collisions in Syrian airspace and are threatening to target all U.S. planes and its allies over Syria.

"Any aircraft, including planes and drones belonging to the international coalition operating west of the Euphrates river, will be tracked by Russian anti-aircraft forces in the sky and on the ground and treated as targets," the Russian Defence Ministry warned.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that the U.S. will preserve its right to self-defense in response to Russia saying it will treat American military aircraft as targets following the U.S.’ downing of a Syrian jet.

The White House spokesman added that he doesn’t believe the U.S. is on “the brink of war” with Russia. “We’re going to do what we can to protect our interests,” Spicer said.

Syria also condemned America's "flagrant attack," saying it would have "dangerous repercussions."

The news is the most recent example of the war of words and interests between Russia and the U.S., which support different sides in the long war in Syria.

Meanwhile, the coalition defended its actions, explaining that it shot down the Syrian SU-22 after it bombed U.S.-backed rebels in Raqqa province on Sunday.

The SU-22 fighter bomber was engaged by an F/A-18E Super Hornet after it had dropped bombs near the town of Tabqa in Raqqa province on Sunday afternoon, the Pentagon said.

The incident is believed to be the first air-to-air kill of a manned aircraft by a U.S. military jet since the Kosovo campaign in 1999.

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