Australia suspends airstrikes in Syria after USA downs Syrian jet

The Defence Ministry said the Syrian plane was destroyed and the fate of the pilot unknown

The Defence Ministry said the Syrian plane was destroyed and the fate of the pilot unknown

That incident prompted the Russian ministry of defense to announce that it would suspend the de-confliction hotline with the coalition which is created to prevent any accidents in the skies over Syria. The US said it shot down the plane to defend the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a rebel group which is fighting ISIS on the outskirts of Raqqa, the ISIS stronghold in northeast Syria.

The downing of the warplane - the first time in the six-year conflict that the USA has shot down a Syrian jet - came amid another first: Iran fired several ballistic missiles Sunday night at IS positions in eastern Syria in what it said was a message to archrival Saudi Arabia and the United States.

With myriad competing forces quickly converging in Syria, and new powers delegated to Trump's commanders, the risk of additional confrontation is real.

It is said in a statement by the USA led alliance headquarters in Iraq that a U.S. F-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian government SU-22 after it dropped bombs near the US partner forces, which is known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.

A USA official told AFP the pilot of the Syrian plane appeared to have ejected before the jet was hit, though his fate was unknown.

Brexit: With the clock ticking, Britain, EU play up chance of deal
Meanwhile Barnier, a former French minister, insisted the talks must first address the " uncertainties " caused by Brexit . Mr Barnier and Mr Davis will reconvene for a second round of talks in the week commencing July 17.

The drone - built by Iran for the Syrian regime - was downed near the Syrian-Iraq border at about 12.30am today.

Pavel Felgenhauer, a military analyst and columnist in Moscow, said that the development was a risky escalation, but the sides did not want to take real action against each other.

Speaking in Washington, the top USA military officer said the two sides were in delicate discussions to lower tensions.

"Given recent events, the coalition will not allow pro-regime aircraft to threaten or approach in close proximity to coalition and partnered forces", it said.

That drone was shot down after it dropped one of several weapons it was carrying near a position where coalition personnel are training and advising partner ground forces in the fight against ISIS.

Vast Wildfire Kills 57 in Portugal
Nearly 24 hours after the deaths on Saturday night, fires were still churning across the forested hillsides of central Portugal . The wildfire raged across central Portugal , with authorities saying 61 have been killed so far and 59 more injured.

The Pentagon has repeatedly stressed it has no interest in increasing its role in Syria's civil war, and that its sole focus is on defeating IS.

Officials emphasize the strikes were all conducted in self-defense after pro-regime forces ignored warnings. The agreement covers four zones in Syria where the rebels are fighting pro-government forces.

Many analysts see Iran's hand behind this push towards eastern Syria and the Iraqi border.

A Syrian fighter plane was taken down by an American aircraft near the Rakka Province, confirmed the US Army.

Won't take more United States tourists to North Korea, says Chinese travel agency
Over a year ago, Pyongyang sentenced 62-year-old Korean-American missionary Kim Dong Chul to 10 years hard labor for subversion. Tillerson began the effort and routinely updated the President. "It's a brutal regime", he said during a White House event.

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