Moscow is terminating its communication channel with the United States under a memorandum for preventing incidents in Syria’s skies, as a consequence for the US downing a Syrian Su-22 plane, Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on Monday.
“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 statement reads.
“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,” the ministry said.
Russia will regard any flights within the area of its air force group’s operation in Syria as legitimate targets, the ministry stressed.
On June 18, a US fighter jet from the international coalition shot down a Su-22 fighter of the Syrian Air Force using an air-to-air missile. The Syrian warplane was carrying out a combat mission to provide air cover for government troops units, which mounted an offensive against the Islamic State terror group near the populated locality of al-Rasafeh. The Syrian jet was destroyed by the attack. The pilot ejected over the area controlled by terrorists, his fate is unknown.