US changes disposition of coalition aircraft in Syria after Russian threats


20 June 2017 – ARA NEWS – The Pentagon decided on Monday to re-position the US-led coalition’s warplanes in Syria. This comes after Russia threatened that coalition fighter jets will be viewed as targets in Syria, following the downing of a Syrian regime’s jet by the US-led coalition near Raqqa. “As a result of recent clashes with Syrian pro-regime and Russian forces, we took precautions to change the disposition of the aircraft in Syria in order to continue fighting Islamic State, while maintaining safety of our pilots – considering the known threats on the battlefield,” Pentagon’s spokesman Adrian Rankine-Galloway told reporters on Monday.

“The U.S. are always ready to work with the Russians on incident prevention to maintain safety of the coalition’s pilots during combat operations,” he said.

“The direct channel on conflict prevention has proved its effectiveness in terms of decreasing the probability of strategic miscalculations and de-escalation of tensions,” said Rankine-Galloway.

In the meantime, head of Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, said that the United States is going to work with Russia through diplomatic and military channels in order to restore the incident prevention direct line. On Sunday, the US-led coalition confirmed to ARA News that they shot down a Syrian regime jet that attacked positions of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the vicinity of Tabqa town in Raqqa province.