Russia threatened to retaliate against US aircraft following reports that a US Navy fighter plane shot down a Syrian fighter which had bombed US-backed rebels, the New York Post reported.
“Any aircraft, including the international coalition’s planes and drones, discovered west of the Euphrates River, will be accompanied by ground and air-based anti-aircraft defenses as aerial targets,” Moscow said in a statement Monday.
The US had stated that its F-18 Super Hornet fighter had acted in “collective self-defense” when it shot down a Syrian SU-22 that had attacked a site near Tabqa occupied by members of the Syrian Democratic Forces yesterday.
Russia, which supports the government of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad militarily, called the downing of the Syrian plane an "act of aggression" and a violation of international law.
“This, if you like, is help for the terrorists that the US is fighting under what they call their anti-terrorism policy,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.