Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Australia suspends flights over Syria after Russian Warning

DARAA SYRIA- JUNE 5 Smoke rises after the attacks by the Assad regime and its supporter foreign terrorist groups in Daraa Syria Australia suspends flights over Syria after Russian Warning
Orlando Vargas | 28 June, 2017, 04:48

In Tuesday s incident, the US-led coalition said an F-15E Strike Eagle jet destroyed an armed Shahed-129 drone in the early hours of the morning as it neared the Al-Tanaf base along Syria s eastern border.

US-backed Syrian militias closed in on Islamic State's Syrian stronghold of Raqqa on Wednesday, taking territory on the south bank of the Euphrates River with the aim of encircling the city, a militia spokesman told Reuters.

The US-led coalition said the location was close to where another "pro-[Assad] regime" drone, which intelligence sources had also identified as Iranian, was shot down on June 8.

The downing of a Syrian plane does not appear to have prevented Syria from attempting a similar bombing Tuesday according to USA military officials.

On Sunday evening, a Syrian regime SU-22 fighter dropped bombs near USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighters south of Tabqah in Syria and, in accordance with rules of engagement, was immediately shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet.

Australia on Tuesday temporarily suspended its air combat missions over Syria after Russian Federation threatened that it would treat any plane from the US-led coalition flying west of the Euphrates river as a potential target.

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Syrian state television, quoting army sources, said they had resumed the offensive, which took place as USA and Russian officials were holding another round of secret talks on creating a "de-escalation zone" in southwestern Syria that would include Daraa. The logical question arises why the United States in the face of a common threat of Daesh continues to strike the Syrian forces? The Pentagon said as much, yesterday.

In recent years the SDF has driven IS from much of northern Syria and emerged as the most effective USA ally battling the group in Syria. But our allies are opposed by Assad, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah. The truce was meant to be extended but now appears to have collapsed.

Disturbed by a report a few months ago from Israel's ambassador to Jordan, Einat Schlein, who painted a grim picture of the security situation inside the kingdom, Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot is said to have promised behind closed doors that Israel would lend support to the Jordanians if needed. Back then it looked absurd, he said. It said government helicopters dropped 55 barrel bombs on Daraa while warplanes carried out about 20 airstrikes. The conflict quickly descended into a civil war, which has since left at least 400,000 people dead.

This month, pro-Assad Shiite militiamen fired on American troops in Syria for the first time.

Information for this article was contributed by Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Louisa Loveluck of The Washington Post; by Zeina Karam, Robert Burns, Bassem Mroue, Rod McGuirk, Albert Aji and Nasser Karimi of The Associated Press; and by Michael R. Gordon of The New York Times.

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