Tuesday June 20, 2017
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A still image taken from video footage, released by Russia's Defence Ministry on November 20, 2015, shows Russian Tupolev TU-22 long-range strategic bombers conducting an airstrike at an unknown location in Syria. — Reuters picA still image taken from video footage, released by Russia's Defence Ministry on November 20, 2015, shows Russian Tupolev TU-22 long-range strategic bombers conducting an airstrike at an unknown location in Syria. — Reuters picSYDNEY, June 20 — Australia said today it was suspending air strikes into Syria following the US downing of a Syrian military jet on Sunday and Russia’s subsequent threat against US-led coalition aircraft.

“As a precautionary measure, Australian Defence Force (ADF) strike operations into Syria have temporarily ceased,” Australia’s Department of Defence said in a statement.

Russia said yesterday it would treat US-led coalition aircraft flying west of the River Euphrates in Syria as potential targets and track them with missile systems and military aircraft, but stopped short of saying it would shoot them down.

Russia made clear it was changing its military posture in response to the US downing of a Syrian military jet on Sunday, something Damascus said was the first such incident since the start of the country’s conflict in 2011. — Reuters

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