The New York Times reports: Russia on Monday condemned the American military’s downing of a Syrian warplane, suspending the use of a military hotline that Washington and Moscow have used to avoid collisions in Syrian airspace and threatening to target aircraft flown by the United States and its allies over Syria.
The moves were the most recent example of an intensifying clash of words and interests between the two powers, which support different sides in Syria’s civil war.
The Russian military has halted cooperation in the past — notably after President Trump ordered the launch of missiles against a Syrian air base in April — and it was not clear whether the latest action would be lasting.
Its announcement came in response to an American F/A-18 jet’s shooting down a Syrian government warplane south of the town of Tabqah on Sunday, after the Syrian aircraft dropped bombs near local ground forces supported by the United States. It was the first time the American military had downed a Syrian plane since the civil war began in the country in 2011.
The Russian Defense Ministry called American attacks against the Syrian forces “military aggression” and announced that it would suspend cooperation with the United States intended to prevent airborne accidents over Syria. [Continue reading…]