Australia suspends Syria air operations

- Post Report, SYDNEY

Jun 21, 2017-

Australia’s military on Tuesday said it was temporarily halting air missions over Syria, following the shooting down of a Syrian jet by US forces.

The decision came amid increasing tension between the US and Russia, which warned it would track coalition aircraft in Syria as potential “targets”, and halted a military hotline with Washington over the incident.

“As a precautionary measure, Australian Defence Force (ADF) strike operations into Syria have temporarily ceased,” a defence spokeswoman said in a statement.

No reason for the suspension was given, but The Australian newspaper said it was implemented as a precaution after the jet’s downing.

“ADF personnel are closely monitoring the air situation in Syria and a decision on the resumption of ADF air operations in Syria will be made in due course,” the spokeswoman added.

Australia is part of the coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq and in late 2015 extended air operations into Syria, with a total of 780 defence personnel based in the Middle East. 

Published: 21-06-2017 09:46

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