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The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) has suspended flights over Syria after Russia said it halted sky incident prevention interactions with the US as of June 19, due to the coalition’s downing of a Damascus warplane.
“As a precautionary measure, Australian Defence Force (ADF) strike operations into Syria have temporarily ceased”, Australia’s Department of Defense said in a statement.
Russian military halted cooperation with its US counterparts in the framework of the Memorandum on the Prevention of Incidents and Ensuring Air Safety in Syria. The statement came a day after the coalition’s attack on a Syrian Su-22 government warplane, which was carrying out operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists 40km from Raqqa.
The US military failed to use the communication line with Russia concerning this attack, despite the fact that Russian warplanes were also on a mission in Syrian airspace at the time, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
The ministry added that all aircraft of the US-led coalition in the area of its combat missions in Syria will be tracked by Russian forces as “air targets”.