Russia will treat U.S.-led coalition planes in Syria as targets

 Russian Su-33 fighter jets stand on the flight deck of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier in the eastern Mediterranean Sea in a 2016 file photo.

BEIRUT — Russia’s defense ministry says it will treat U.S.-led coalition planes in Syria, west of the Euphrates River, as targets after the U.S. military shot down a Syrian Air Force jet on Sunday.

Moscow has condemned the U.S. downing of the Syrian government fighter jet after it dropped bombs nears U.S. partner forces.

The Russian defense ministry says in a statement that, starting Monday, it will track all jets and drones of the U.S.-led coalition west of the Euphrates and treat them as targets. The ministry also called on the U.S. military to provide a full account of why it decided to shoot down the Syrian SU-22. 

Russia, a key backer of Syrian President Bashar Assad, has been providing an air cover to the government’s offensive on the Islamic State group since 2015.

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