Australia has suspended combat sorties over Syria after Russia threatened that it would treat aircraft from the coalition flying west of the Euphrates river as a target.
“As a precautionary measure, Australian defence force strike operations into Syria have temporarily ceased,” the Australian Department of Defence said.
Australia has six F/A-18 based in the United Arab Emirates that it uses to strike targets in Syria and Iraq.
This comes after the news that a US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian government operated Su-22 shortly after it bombed US-backed Syrian fighters in North Syria the Pentagon have confirmed.
The F/A-18E which shot down the Su-22 belongs to Carrier Air Wing 8, operating off of the USS George H.W. Bush in the Mediterranean Sea.
The news has been confirmed by the Combined Joint Task Force for Operation Inherent Resolve.
“At approximately 4:30 p.m. Syria time, June 18, Pro-Syrian regime forces attacked the Syrian Democratic Forces-held town of JaDin, South of Tabqah, wounding a number of SDF fighters and driving the SDF from the town.
Coalition aircraft conducted a show of force and stopped the initial pro-regime advance toward the SDF-controlled town. Following the Pro-Syrian forces attack, the Coalition contacted its Russian counterpart by telephone via an established ‘de-confliction line’ to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing.
At 6:43 p.m.. a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah and, in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces, was immediately shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet.”
The full text of the release can be seen below.