Russia threatens coalition aircraft over Syria after US Navy shoot down Syrian Su-22

Relations between the west and Russia regarding Syria has always been both problematic and risky but it threatens to become even more dangerous following the shootdown of a Syrian Air Force Sukhoi Su-22 “Fitter” on Sunday. This has prompted Russian officials to describe American, British and French aircraft operating over the war-ravaged country as potential threats. In a statement, the Russian Defence Ministry said;

All kinds of airborne vehicles, including aircraft and UAVs of the international coalition detected to the west of the Euphrates River will be tracked by the Russian SAM systems as air targets.

Syrian civil war air force sukhoi su-22 fitterThe US took the extraordinary action against the Syrian Air Force on Sunday when the Su-22 (right) reportedly carried out a strike in proximity to US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. The Syrian jet was shot down by a US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet and is the first such air-to-air engagement for the type. The US military’s Central Command said in a statement that the shootdown was carried out in accordance of all established rules of engagement and in accordance with terms agreed upon by coalition partners.

However, the Russian Defence Ministry disagrees saying that the US acted in violation of the agreed upon terms of the de-confliction deal both sides pledged to honour. They also claim that the US made no effort to communicate with them before taking the action against the Syrian jet, describing the shootdown as a violation of Syria’s sovereignty. The Syrian government themselves also claim that the Su-22 was bombing Islamic State forces, not Syrian Democratic Forces, and accused the US of actually helping the terrorist organisation.

The Russians have since suspended their direct line of communication with Washington over the incident leading to their stark warning to the US-led forces. In the last few hours, Downing Street has appealed to the Russians to return to the previously established de-confliction arrangement so as to avoid any future confrontation between coalition aircraft and Russian and Syrian government aircraft.

The Pentagon in Washington responded strongly to the Russian threats made against Coalition aircraft with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford telling reporters;

I’m confident that we are still communicating between our operations centre and the Russian Federation’s operations centre — and I’m also confident that our forces have the capability to take care of themselves.

Under Operation: Shader, the Royal Air Force has been engaged in gathering intelligence and conducting air strikes against Islamic State in Syria and neighbouring Iraq. Tornado GR.4 and Typhoon FGR.4 combat aircraft along with Reaper drones continue to fly operations over the region from RAF Akrotiri in Cyprus.

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News Round-Up – June 13th 2017

Panavia Tornado GR.4 No.31 Squadron Goldstars paveway brimstone

Here are some of the latest British military news stories making the headlines this past week.

Ongoing News

British military base in Cyprus hit by blast
(ITV)


General News

Britain is sleepwalking into joining EU army, warns top UK military commander
(Express.co.uk)

Post UK election, ‘defense will have to fight hard for what it needs’
(Defense News)

US Air Force Says F-35 Tech Can Stop Enemies From Learning New Info on F-35
(Scout.com)

US warplane ‘in emergency landing’ at RAF base as Trump moves bombers to UK
(Daily Star)

Lessons from The Troubles
(National Review)


British Army News

Ministry of Defence paid nearly £22 million in Iraq War compensation claims
(ITV)

British Army Band performs in Baku
(AZERTAC News)

3 ways data has transformed the British Army
(Information Age)

Law firm cleared of misconduct charges over Iraq cases
(Financial Times)


Royal Air Force News

ISIS leader Baghdadi ‘on the run’ as RAF bombers ramp up air offensive in Syria
(Express.co.uk)

Dad of missing RAF man, Corrie McKeague, releases new family snaps and says he’d do ‘anything’ to get his son back
(The Sun)

Divers plan to recover Dambuster bouncing bombs in time for 75th anniversary of raid
(Mirror)

Is RAF Northolt being turned into ‘little Heathrow’?
(Get West London)


Royal Navy & Marines News

Royal Navy seizes drugs in fishing dhow in Indian Ocean
(Daily Nation)

Wood Group to deliver insulation installation services for UK’s Astute-class submarines
(Naval-Technology)

Ultra Electronics Wins Contract From Royal Navy
(LSE)


Disclaimer: All news stories are the property of their respective publishers. Any opinions expressed in the articles are of the person making them. An effort is made to vary news sources as much as possible to avoid political bias.

Pakistan Chief of Army Staff in London to meet with MoD

General Qamar Bajwa of the Pakistani Army arrived in the UK on Sunday evening accompanied by Major General Asif Ghafoor at the start of a five day visit organised by the British Ministry of Defence. General Bajwa will meet British military leaders to discuss increasing the military relationship between the UK and Pakistan in the fight against extremist groups operating in Southern Asia including ISIS.

Pakistan army chief of staff qamar bajwaAmong the topics the General and his aide are expected to discuss include Pakistan’s concerns regarding extremism within Pakistan’s tribal area, the situation in Afghanistan, the security of the China–Pakistan Economic Corridor and the disputed Kashmir region. As well as meeting British military and political leaders, the General is also expected to meet with leaders of the Pakistani community in the UK.

General Bajwa was promoted to the rank of four star general and appointed as the Chief of the Army Staff of the Pakistan Army by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in November 2016. He is the 16th general to hold the post and succeeded General Raheel Sharif who had held the post since 2013. Bajwa is known to be an advocate of democracy and has been characterised as having a more tempered approach to India than some of his predecessors.

The General’s visit to the UK follows a visit to Pakistan by the UK’s Home Secretary Amber Rudd last month. During the visit she was quoted in local media as saying;

Pakistan has suffered more than most from the scourge of terrorism…I would like to pay tribute to the hard work of the [Pakistan Interior] minister as well as Pakistan’s police and its armed forces in delivering significant improvements in security across the country over the last two years…We have a lot to learn from each other.