A still image taken from footage shot on June 18, 2017, and broadcast on Iranian Television IRINN, purports to show missiles being fired from Iran into eastern Syria. Syria attacks America's allies against Islamic State militants. Iran fires missiles into Syria. Russia threatens to target U.S. coalition planes. As Syria's complex war ramps up, the Trump administration is scrambling to tamp down tensions and avoid open hostilities with the Russians.
A Russian fighter jet crashed in the Mediterranean Sea shortly after launching from its aircraft carrier near the coast of Syria Sunday, two U.S. officials told Fox News. Three Russian MiG-29 fighter jets took off from their Soviet-era aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, and flew in the direction of Syria. Once airborne, one of the Russian jets appeared to have mechanical difficulties and turned around in the direction of the aircraft carrier. The Russian jet splashed down in the water while attempting to land. A Russian rescue helicopter picked up a parachute and the pilot.
WASHINGTON – The top U.S. military officer said Monday that Washington and Moscow are in delicate discussions to tamp down tensions arising from the U.S. shootdown of a Syrian fighter jet, which the Russians called a violation of a U.S.-Russian understanding on avoiding air incidents. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, suggested that broader U.S. and Russian interests will enable to the two sides to avoid direct hostilities in Syria. "The worst thing any of us could do right now is address this with hyperbole," Dunford said. Russia's defense ministry said Monday that military aircraft flown by the U.S.-led coalition over Syrian government-controlled areas west of the Euphrates River will be tracked as potential targets. It also said the U.S. shootdown of a Syrian SU-22 fighter was a violation of a 2015 memorandum of understanding on prevention of aerial incidents in Syria and that Moscow had therefore suspended their cooperation with Washington under the memorandum.