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Australia halts Syria airstrikes following Russia warning

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Australia halts Syria airstrikes following Russia warning

Australia on Tuesday said it had halted its airstrikes in Syria following a warning from Russia that it would target U.S. coalition aircraft after a fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane.

A spokesman for Australia’s Defence Department said strike operations in Syria have temporarily ceased, but that it will continue airstrikes in Iraq.

Australia is a member of the U.S.-led coalition and has among the highest number of airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.

“Australian Defence Force protection is regularly reviewed in response to a range of potential threats,” a spokesman told local media.

On Monday, Moscow warned that it would treat all U.S. coalition aircraft west of the Euphrates river in Syria as “airborne targets.” after a U.S. fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane.

The Russian defence ministry also said it was ending cooperation on a U.S.-Russian agreement that had been designed to prevent a direct conflict between the two powers in Syria.

(dpa/NAN)

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