Australia has suspended air combat missions over Syria after Russia had threatened that it would treat any plane from the US-led coalition flying west of the Euphrates River as a potential target.
This was in the aftermath of a US F-18 shooting down a Syrian SU-22 on Sunday after the pilot bombed pro-coalition SDF forces outside of Raqqa. The US and coalition forces have tried to steer clear of the Syrian troops of the embattled government of President Assad. They’ve tried to target only the Islamic State (IS) who held sizable portions of the country.
The Australians have six fighters stationed in the UAE (United Arab Emirates) that have been used in combat operations against both Syria and Iraq. But for now, they have stopped operations over Syria, “as a precautionary measure.”
A spokesman for the Department of Defence told the ABC that the situation would be monitored and sorties over Iraq would continue. “Australian defence force personnel are closely monitoring the air situation in Syria and a decision on the resumption of ADF air operations in Syria will be made in due course,” he said.