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    More Countries Could Follow Australia in Suspending Airstrikes in Syria

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    US-Led Coalition Shoots Down Syrian Jet in Raqqa (30)
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    Australia's suspension of its anti-Daesh air campaign over Syria may prompt other non-NATO members to follow suit, Russian military expert Leonid Ivashov told Sputnik.

    In an interview with Sputnik, Russian military expert Leonid Ivashov did not rule out that more non-NATO member states may suspend their anti-Daesh air campaigns following Australia's relevant decision.

    Earlier on Tuesday, media reports said that Australia had suspended its air campaign against Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State) in Syria after a US aircraft shot down a Syrian military jet near the city of Tabqa.

    In another development, the US-led coalition against the Islamic State has narrowed its latest airstrikes to the Daesh-held city of Raqqa after Russia declared that it would target all airborne objects west of the Euphrates, according to the coalition's tally, released earlier this day.

    "Near Raqqah, eight strikes engaged seven Daesh tactical units and destroyed 15 fighting positions and a vehicle," the Combined Joint Task Force of Operation Inherent Resolve said in a press release documenting air operations conducted on Monday.

    On Sunday, the coalition carried out 15 strikes near Deir Ezzor and Abu Kamal, both west of the Euphrates, in addition to Raqqa.

    Ivashov, for his part, recalled that "in Syria, not all representatives of the pro-American coalition are participating [in the anti-Daesh air campaign]."

    "So NATO countries will take part because the Americans are in command. As for non-NATO members, they will be unlikely carry out airstrikes," he said, referring to Australia.

    "Now, of course, there will be pressure on the Australian government but I hope that they will survive and that it will be a good example for other non-NATO member states to follow suit," Ivashov added.

    A Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter walks through a damaged street in the Syrian city of Tabqa, after SDF captured it from Daesh militants, May 12, 2017
    © REUTERS/ Rodi Said
    A Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighter walks through a damaged street in the Syrian city of Tabqa, after SDF captured it from Daesh militants, May 12, 2017

    In this regard, he specifically pointed to Australia adhering to international agreements.

    "As compared to the West, in Australia there is more democracy and awareness of the need to comply with international rules and norms as well as the UN Charter," according to Ivashov.

    "They apparently joined the coalition bearing in mind the noble goals of combating international terrorism, but when they saw that they were at war with a sovereign state, they suspended their actions," he said.

    When the US-led coalition downed a Syrian fighter jet near Tabqa on Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that any airborne objects west of the Euphrates River would be tracked by Russian air defense systems as targets.

    The ministry has also suspended an airspace incident prevention agreement with the United States.

    The US-led coalition, for its part, argued that the Syrian aircraft had allegedly attacked Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) positions, adding that the coalition downed the Syrian jet as part of "collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces."

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    US-Led Coalition Shoots Down Syrian Jet in Raqqa (30)

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    airstrikes, actions, coalition, terrorism, agreements, war, NATO, Daesh, Australia, Syria
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