Russian jet flies within feet of United States plane over Baltic Sea

As if the potential for a drastically escalated conflict with Russian Federation were not serious enough, the Trump administration is contemplating an escalation of military activity in southern Syria that threatens to draw Iran further into conflict with US forces as well.

US Central Command officials said the Syrian plane was downed "in collective self-defense of Coalition-partnered forces".

Earlier this month, the US Air Force deployed long-range B-52 bombers and 800 airmen to the United Kingdom in support of joint exercises with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and partners across Europe.

That assumption that the USA military has the right to intervene in any conflict of its choosing was reflected in the decision by the Times and Post to minimize coverage of the shoot-down of the Syrian bomber and accept uncritically the Pentagon's explanation that the shoot-down was in response to Syrian government attacks on US -backed forces.

In response to the shoot-down of the manned Syrian aircraft, Syria's ally in the civil-war, Russia, chose to cut off the deconfliction line - a communications hotline established by Russia and the avoid mid-air collisions over the congested airspace in Syria - and warned it would track all US and coalition aircraft with its air defense systems.

He added that the United States was working to restore a "deconfliction" communications line with Russian Federation meant to avoid an accidental clash over Syria.

A second USA official said the use of ballistic missiles may also have been intended as a signal that Iran remains committed to supporting Assad and a reminder that US forces and bases in the region are within reach of Iranian missiles and ground forces.

American forces operating in Syria or its airspace are capable of defending themselves, the top US military officer said Monday after Russian Federation threatened to shoot down foreign aircraft in its area of operation in the war-torn nation.

"The U.S. are always ready to work with the Russians on incident prevention to maintain safety of the coalition's pilots during combat operations", he said.

A statement warning America and its allies after the shooting down of a Sukhoi-22 fighter bomber on Sunday limited the threat to areas that are already largely under regime control or that are clear targets for their advance.

In response, Russian Federation announced its air defenses would track all coalition targets west of the Euphrates, and suspend the "deconfliction" hotline.

It is entirely possible that their response this morning is merely a face-saving gesture created to placate an angry Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, after all. For the has been the scene of more than 360 airstrikes since March, and its location and demographics are important to US strategy in Syria and Iraq.

The chairman noted that Washington's main objective in Syria is to destroy the Islamic State, something that Russian Federation has also said is central to its own strategy in Syria, where it is defending the interests of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian army said the jet was shot down while flying a mission against Islamic State.

US officials claimed a Navy F-18 shot down the jet after it dropped bombs near Syrian Democratic Forces, which is part of the USA -backed campaign against the Islamic State group.

Ryabkov asks: "What is this, if not an act of aggression?"

"Assad and his allies think the USA wants to stay in eastern Syria", he said.

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