Monday (June 19, 2017), the White House declared the forces fighting ISIS in Syria have the right to self-defense. While Russia, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad considered that any planes flying in its area of operations as potential targets. The rift increased on Sunday (20 June 2017) , the US military shot down a Syrian military jet near Raqqa. As a result, Russia made it clear changing its military posture. The Russian Defense Ministry declared it would scrap the Syrian air agreement with US military to avoid collisions and dangerous incidents.
Moscow accused Russiaof the decision to shoot down the Syrian military jet near Raqqa, despite Russian aircraft being airborne at the same time. Washington replied “do what we can to protect our interests.”
“The escalation of hostilities among the many factions that are operating in this region doesn’t help anybody. And the Syrian regime and others in the regime need to understand that we will retain the right of self-defense, of coalition forces aligned against ISIS,” White House said. The US military said it was repositioning its aircraft over Syria to ensure the safety of American aircrews targeting ISIS. “We’ll work diplomatically and military in the coming hours to re-establish deconfliction”, Marine General Joseph Dunford added.
The Syrian military jet had been dropping bombs near US-backed SDF forces, seeking to oust ISIS from the city of Raqqa, the US Central Command said in a statement. The statement said shooting down of the plane was “collective self-defense” and the coalition had contacted Russian counterparts by telephone via an established “de-confliction line to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing. Russia is supporting Assad as he tries to roll back ISIS and other militant groups. Unlike Washington, it says its presence is sanctioned by the Syrian government. On Sunday, Iran launched missiles at ISIS targets in eastern Syria a strike seen as a projection of military power into part of Syria identified as a top priority by Damascus and its allies.