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Syrian Foreign Ministry: “U.S.-led alliance’s attack on Syrian aircraft reveals truth about America’s support for terrorism”

(SANA) ~ The Syrian Foreign and Expatriate Ministry affirmed that the attack by the US-led alliance’s aircrafts on a Syrian fighter plane near al-Rasafa while it was carrying out an operation against ISIS reveals with no doubt the truth about the US support of terrorism, demanding that Security Council break its silence and condemn such cowardly and reckless military actions.

In two letters sent to the UN Secretary General and the President of Security Council on Monday, the Syrian Ministry said that the US and its illegal alliance have revealed their real face and the underhanded goal they seek to achieve in Syria when they committed a new crime on June 18th 2017 by intentionally shooting down a Syrian Air Force aircraft while it was carrying out a combatant mission against ISIS terrorist organization on Syrian territory.

The letters stressed that it is shameful that the United States justified its terrible act by promoting open lies through official statements that are far from the truth, particularly since the Syrian fighter plane fell in an area close to al-Rasafa area which is controlled by ISIS, contrary to what the American side claimed, as the pilot was seen parachuting in areas controlled by ISIS terrorists.

The Ministry clarified that the disgraceful US military aggression confirms beyond any doubt the reality of the US position in support of terrorism and which aims to undermine the ability of the Syrian Arab Army which, along with its allies, is the only effective force exercising its legitimate right to fight terrorism across the country.

The Ministry added that this aggression cannot be separated from the crimes committed by the United States and its alliance against the Syrian Arab Army and its allies in al-Tanf area, in addition to the unjustified strikes launched by this alliance against the innocent civilians in the north and west of Raqqa area, which claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians and displaced more than 120,000 from the people of Raqqa who left their homes due to the arbitrary strikes carried out by the alliance against innocent civilians in Raqqa and other Syrian cities.

The letters noted that this aggression comes at a time when the Syrian Arab Army and its allies are making clear progress in fighting ISIS terrorists which is being defeated in al-Badiya desert area on more than one direction, adding that this aggression exposes the political and military inclinations and the malicious intentions of the US and its illegal alliance to manage terrorism and invest in it to achieve its objectives and realize the Western project in the region.

The Ministry said that the Syrian Arab Republic warns against the repercussions of this criminal act on counterterrorism efforts, affirming that such attacks will not dissuade Syria from continuing the war against ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations and groups affiliated to them nor from extending the Syrian state’s control over all its territory.

The letters went on to say that as Syria condemns this aggression, it calls on the Security Council to break its silence and condemn these cowardly and reckless military actions, particularly as they are carried out by an illegal coalition, adding that this blatant US aggression can only be seen as a violation of Security Council resolutions on combating terrorism, the sovereignty and independence of the Syrian Arab Republic, international law, and the UN Charter.

The Ministry concluded the letters by saying that restoring security and stability to Syria and the region and combating terrorism requires the sincere efforts of the international community to end the crisis in Syria and to prevent any action that aims at prolonging the crisis or exploiting it.

Russian military halts Syria sky incident prevention interactions with U.S. regime

(RT News) ~ The Russian Defense Ministry announced it is halting cooperation with its US counterparts in the framework of the Memorandum on the Prevention of Incidents and Ensuring Air Safety in Syria following the coalition’s downing of a Syrian warplane.

The ministry has demanded a thorough investigation by the US military command into the incident with the Syrian government military jet, with the results to be shared with the Russian side.

“In the areas of combat missions of Russian air fleet in Syrian skies, any airborne objects, including aircraft and unmanned vehicles of the [US-led] international coalition, located to the west of the Euphrates River, will be tracked by Russian ground and air defense forces as air targets,” the Russian Ministry of Defense stated.

Downing the military jet within Syrian airspace “cynically” violates the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic, Russian military said.

The actions of the US Air Force are in fact “military aggression” against Syria, the statement adds.

The ministry emphasized that Russian warplanes were on a mission in Syrian airspace during the US-led coalition’s attack on the Syrian Su-22, while the coalition failed to use the communication line to prevent an incident.

“The command of the coalition forces did not use the existing communication channel between the air commands of Al Udeid Airbase (in Qatar) and the Khmeimim Airbase to prevent incidents in Syrian airspace.”

The ministry considers the move “a conscious failure to comply with the obligations under the Memorandum on the Prevention of Incidents and Ensuring Air Safety in Syria,” and is thus halting cooperation with the US within the memorandum framework as of June 19, the statement concluded.

Earlier Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov condemned the attack, branding it an act of aggression which actually helped the terrorists the US is fighting against.

The US-led coalition downed the Syrian government warplane on Sunday. At the moment of the attack the jet was carrying out operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) some 40km from Raqqa, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The pilot ejected from the plane above IS-controlled territory and is still missing.

U.S. not looking for ‘classic’ war with Syria
(cousin of downed plane pilot)

(RT News) ~ RT has spoken with the cousin of the missing pilot who was in the Syrian jet recently shot down by the US-led coalition over Raqqa province. Majd Fahd hopes Syrian troops will find his cousin, and said the coalition was “totally wrong” to strike the plane.

“I can’t verify any information due to lack of confirmation, but they said that our Syrian troops are looking for him right now and we believe that they will find him,” Majd Fahd told RT.

A Syrian Su-22 jet was shot down by a US aircraft in the vicinity of Raqqa on June 18. Damascus asserts that at the time of the attack the pilot was carrying out a mission “to destroy IS [Islamic State, formerly ISIS/ISIL] terrorists.”

The US-led coalition claims that the Syrian plane was bombing American-backed forces on the ground.

“At 6:43pm, a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] fighters south of Tabqah and, in accordance with rules of engagement and collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces, was immediately shot down by a US F/A-18E Super Hornet,” the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve said in a statement.

In his comments to RT, Fahd backed the Syrian side as “definitely saying the truth.” He added that, in his opinion, “the Americans were totally wrong in making the decision [to attack the plane].”

Fahd observed that “the US would not be in a ‘classic’ war with the Syrian Army and allied forces,” so instead they chose to lead “a proxy war.”

The forces in question are US-supported local militia trying to re-capture Raqqa from IS.

Alaa Ebrahim, a Damascus-based RT stringer, said: “According to several military sources operating in the area, the fighter jet was carrying out an operation against an ISIS convoy, and in no way posed any direct or indirect threat to those militia.”

Ebrahim went on to point at the US aims in taking the step.

“The US is trying to draw boundaries and red lines for the Syrian Army not to cross them.”

The journalist’s opinion is echoed by Ammar Waqqaf – director of the UK-based think tank Gnosos.

“This is being used as a principle, to prevent the Syrian Army from restoring the Syrian sovereignty, against rebels, against Daesh [Arabic pejorative term for IS]. In a sense, about a year ago, the US were passively using IS forces to put pressure on the Syrian Army. Now they seem to be actively protecting them, and this is madness.”

Moscow has condemned the attack on the Syrian plane, calling it “an act of aggression” that is “directly in breach of international law.” The Russian military also said it would be halting cooperation with the US side on the Syria-designated memorandum on air safety, since, according to Moscow, the US did not use the channel to warn Russia of the coalition’s actions.

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