June 25, 2017 Special Dispatch No. 6976

Russia's Reactions To The U.S. Downing Of A Syrian Su-22 Plane

June 25, 2017
Russia | Special Dispatch No. 6976

On June 18, an American F-18A "Hornet" fighter jet that is part of the US-led coalition downed a Syrian Su-22 fighter bomber southwest of Al-Raqqa. Following the incident, the Russian Defense Ministry declared that it had terminated its interaction with the U.S. under a memorandum for preventing incidents, and threatened to target "any aircraft, including planes and drones of the international coalition, detected in the operation areas west of the Euphrates River."

Russian lawmakers condemned the downing of the Su-22 as an act of aggression. Senator Franz Klintsevich, first Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council Defense and Security Committee, said: "It's obvious that it's not about self-defense. This is pure aggression and provocation. They provoke Russia first of all."[1]

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov also stated that the U.S.' military presence in southern Syria is illegal. Bogdanov said: "It is absolutely illegal. There is neither a United Nations Security Council resolution nor a request from Syria's legitimate authorities to this effect."[2]

The Kremlin commented that the situation related to the U.S.-led coalition's actions "causes serious concern."[3]

Syrian Sukhoi Su-22
Syrian Su-22 fighter bomber (Source:

Russia's Defense Ministry: Russia Ends Its Interaction With The U.S. Under A Memorandum For Preventing Incidents And Threatens To Target U.S. Aircrafts West Of Euphrates

After the U.S. downed a Syrian Su-22 plane, Russia's Defense Ministry stated: "As of June 19 this year, the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation has ended its interaction with the U.S. side under a memorandum for preventing incidents and providing for safe flights during operations in Syria and demands that the U.S. command carry out a careful investigation and report about its results and the measures taken."

The statement continued: "The shooting down of a Syrian Air Force jet in Syria's airspace is a cynical violation of Syria's sovereignty. The U.S.' repeated combat operations under the guise of 'combating terrorism' against the legitimate armed forces of a UN member-state are a flagrant violation of international law, in addition to being actual military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic… Any aircraft, including planes and drones of the international coalition, detected in the operation areas west of the Euphrates River by the Russian air forces will be followed by Russian ground-based air defense and air defense aircraft as air targets."

The ministry also stressed that the Syrian SU-22 was hit, while Russia's Aerospace Forces were carrying out missions in Syria's airspace. "However, the coalition command did not use the existing communication line between the air commands of [the American] Al Udeid Air Base [Qatar] and [the Russian] Khmeimim Air Base to prevent incidents in Syria's airspace," read the statement.

(, June 19, 2017)

Senator Dzhabarov: Syria Will Retaliate, They Have The S-300 In Their Possession

First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council Committee for Foreign Affairs, Senator Vladimir Dzhabarov, said: "It's impermissible to attack and down jets in such a way – they'll get a retaliatory hit, that's why it may lead to a very big conflict". Dhzabarov called on the parties to convene an immediate diplomatic meeting.

(, June 19, 2017)

According to the RIA news agency, Dzhabarov added: "Sooner or later, there will be a retaliatory strike by the Syrian anti-aircraft forces, they do have the S-300 in their possession."

(, June 19, 2017)

This is the first official Russian admission that Syria has S-300 missile systems in its arsenal. Hitherto, Russia underlined that the systems in Tartus and Hmeymim are operated by the Russian forces and are intended exclusively for their self-protection.

Senator Pushkov: The U.S. Committed A New Act Of War

Senator Alexey Pushkov wrote in his Twitter account: "By shooting down a Syrian Su-22 in Raqqa skies, the U.S. has committed a new act of war against Syria. What self-defense [are they're talking about)]? Raqqa is a Syrian city, not an American one."

(, June 18, 2017)

Pushkov tweet
(Source:, June 18, 2017)

Senator Kosachev: The U.S. Wanted To Demonstrate Who Ruled The Roost In The Region

Senator Konstantin Kosachev, head of the Federation Council's Committee for International Relations, said: "This was done intentionally. They wanted to demonstrate who 'rules the roost'". Kosachev then added: "The U.S. time and again evades every attempt to arrive at the natural and inevitable decision to start negotiations and define who the terrorist groups are."

(, June 19, 2017)

MP Shvytkin Warns Washington: 'I Would Not Advise The U.S. To Tempt Fate'

Yuri Shvytkin, the deputy chair of the Russian State Duma's Defense Committee, said: "I think that the U.S. should understand the might and facilities of the Russian Military forces, which are currently present in the region, including the anti-aircraft systems. I would not advise the U.S. to tempt fate, since they may get more than they bargained for and  would regret it. I would qualify the [Russian Defense Ministry] actions towards the U.S. as a 'warning shot', if we resort to military language… The U.S. actions taken with impunity just led to a new chain of crimes on their part."

(, June 19, 2017)

Senator Ozerov: 'I'm Sure That Neither The U.S. Nor Anyone Else Will Conduct Actions That Will Endanger Our Air Force'

Commenting on the Russian Ministry of Defense's statement, threatening to target any U.S. aircrafts on the West of Euphrates, Senator Franz Klintsevich tried to tone down Russia's warning. Klintsevich said that Russia does not intend to shoot down every air target in Syria with no exception: "The decision will be taken considering each case individually, the air targets won't be attacked automatically. Yet, if there are aggressive actions on the part of the U.S., these actions will be fiercely resisted by the Russian air force."

(, June 19, 2017)

Senator Viktor Ozerov, chairman of the Council of the Federation Committee on Defense and Security, said: "I'm sure that neither the U.S. nor anyone else will conduct actions that will pose a threat to our air force". He further explained that the Russian Defense Ministry intended to underline that the air targets will be followed by the air defense systems, but won't be shot down. Ozerov said: "The threat to these aircraft will arise only in case those aircraft take actions that constitute a threat to our air force."

(, June 19, 2017)




[1], June 19, 2017.

[2], June 20, 2017.

[3], June 20, 2017.

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