"The Coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat", it said. In just over a month, US forces have struck Iranian-backed Shia militias in southern Syria three times, and on Sunday a U.S. F/A-18 shot down a Syrian Arab Air Force Su-22 jet.
"In an email to NPR, Australia's Department of Defense says it will make a decision on rejoining the U.S-led air campaign in due course", NPR's Alison Meuse reports from Beirut.
The U.S. -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters - a coalition dominated by Kurdish forces but also including Arab troops - are a major player in this area. However, after the downing of a Syrian Su-22 fighter by an American naval aircraft early Tuesday, Russian support for Assad's sovereignty tightened.
That was a rarity in modern warfare, representing the first time the U.S. Air Force had downed a manned jet since 1999. Coalition aircraft stopped the pro-regime forces from advancing on Ja'Din.
Trump may decide he doesn't want to commit USA ground forces to that struggle. "Trump has not delivered on his promise for better relations with Moscow and the Congress is moving towards expanding sanctions against Russia", West said. The SDF has been armed and trained to fight ISIS.
On Monday, Russia threatened to shoot down any coalition jets flying west of the Euphrates river, after the US shot down a Syrian warplane over the weekend.
The activist-run Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that government troops captured a hill west of the city and a former army base that was held by rebels.
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called the shoot down an "act of aggression". Russian Federation is also suspending its use of the hotline between the US and Russian Federation that was set up to prevent accidents in the Syrian combat zone.
Modi arrives in US
The Obama administration had accorded India the status of a "major defence partner". In a tweet, PM Modi wrote: "Thank you @POTUS for the warm personal welcome".
"The deconfliction line has proven effective at mitigating strategic miscalculations and escalating tense situations, and to be clear, we prefer to keep this channel of communication open".
In return, the USA will slowly ease away from any mention of regime change in Syria, will not interfere with Putin in Syria as long as Syria leaves Israel alone, and will not oppose a Russian naval port in Syria.
"The Russian Federation has indicated that their goal in Syria, like ours, is to defeat ISIS", Dunford told reporters. Sharif, said all six ballistic missiles it launched on Syria hit their targets, according to "local sources and drone films".
Australia has been part of the US-led coalition against Islamic State since 2014, first joining operations in Iraq.
The Syrian Armed Forces said in a statement that the pilot was missing.
No reason for the suspension was given, but The Australian newspaper said it was implemented as a precaution after the jet's downing.
Earlier this week, the ADF said it would suspend operations after Russian Federation warned members of the US -led coalition that any aircraft found west of the Euphrates River would be considered a "target" after an American F/A-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian SU-22 on Sunday.
Attempts to warn the plane away using an emergency radio frequency failed, the US Central Command said.
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