Australia suspends air strikes in Syria after U.S. downing of Syrian jet


Reuters

UPDATE 1-Australia suspends air strikes in Syria after U.S. downing of Syrian jet


(Adds Defence Department comment)
    SYDNEY, June 20 (Reuters) - Australia said on Tuesday it had
suspended air strikes into Syria following the U.S. downing of a
Syrian military jet and Russia's subsequent threat against
U.S.-led coalition aircraft.
    Russia said on Monday it would treat U.S.-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.[nL8N1JG2TY]
    "As a precautionary measure, Australian Defence Force (ADF)
strike operations into Syria have temporarily ceased,"
Australia'sDepartment of Defence said in a statement.
    Russia made clear it was changing its military posture in
response to the U.S. 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.
    "ADF 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," Australia'sDepartment of
Defence said, adding its operations in Iraq would continue as
part of the coalition.
    "Australian Defence Force protection is regularly reviewed
in response to a range of potential threats," it said.

 (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Nick Macfie)
 ((jim.regan@thomsonreuters.com; +612 9373-1814; Reuters
Messaging: jim.regan.reuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: MIDEAST CRISIS/SYRIA AUSTRALIA (UPDATE 1)



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