© Dmitriy Vinogradov / Sputnik
An S-400 air defence missile system at the Hmeymim airbase, Syria.
Moscow views the US-led coalition's attack on the Syrian government military jet as an act of aggression and assistance for the terrorists that the US is fighting against, according to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov.
"What is it then, if not an act of aggression, an act directly in breach of international law," Ryabkov told journalists in Moscow.

"If you want, it's actually help for the terrorists the US is fighting, declaring that they are conducting a counterterrorism policy," the official added.

Ryabkov added that he believed the strike "should be first of all regarded as the continuation of the US agenda of neglecting the norms of international law. Regardless of who has power in Washington, people there are used to the fact that there are circumstances allowing them to arrogantly look down on - and in some situations, to openly ignore - the basics of international relations."
A Syrian SU-22 warplane was shot down by a US F/A-18E Super Hornet on Sunday while it was on a mission in the countryside around Raqqa.

Damascus stated that the plane was carrying out operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorists when it was downed.

Washington says that the Syrian warplane "dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah" and was shot down in accordance with "rules of engagement" of Coalition partnered forces.


Comment: Typical American behavior: illegally invade another country, create your own "rules", and then blame the country you invaded for defending itself.


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.


Comment: How dare they fly in their own country.

"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, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov urged US forces in Syria and those of any other country to refrain from unilateral, uncoordinated action.
"We call on the US and all others who have their forces or advisers on the ground in Syria to ensure the coordination of our work," he said.

De-escalation zones are one of the possible options to move forward jointly, he said.

"We call on everyone to avoid unilateral moves, respect Syrian sovereignty and join our common work, which is agreed with the Syrian government," Lavrov said.

He also called on everyone on the ground to "respect Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity."