Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:13AM
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attends a press conference of BRICS foreign ministers meeting in Beijing, June 19, 2017. (Photo by AP)
Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attends a press conference of BRICS foreign ministers meeting in Beijing, June 19, 2017. (Photo by AP)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has urged Washington to respect Syria’s sovereignty and refrain from unilateral moves after the US downed a Syrian bomber in Raqqah.

"We call on the United State and all others who have their forces or advisers on the ground to ensure the coordination in our work,” Lavrov said, adding "zones of de-escalation are one of the possible options to jointly move forward."

His remarks come a day after a Syrian aircraft engaged in operations against Daesh in Raqqah was downed. The US military claimed it had shot down the Syrian jet "in collective self-defense of coalition-partnered forces" in Tabqa.

Read more

US downs Syrian fighter jet engaged in anti-Daesh operations

“We call on everyone to avoid unilateral moves, respect Syrian sovereignty and join our common work which is agreed with the Syrian Arab Republic's government," Lavrov said.

He said all actions in Syria must be coordinated with legitimate Syrian authorities, "especially when it comes to the occupation of certain territories in Syria, including those that could prompt questions from the point of view of the true intentions of those who carry out such seizures."

Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov criticized the shooting down of the Syrian fighter jet as an act of aggression.

Ryabkov told Russian media on Monday that the downing was akin to "helping the terrorists that the US is fighting against."

He exclaimed, "What is this, if not an act of aggression?"

The Sunday's attack was the latest in a series of assaults by the US against Syrian targets.

Smoke billows from buildings in the northern Syrian city of Raqqah on June 18, 2017, during an offensive by US jets. (Photo by AFP)

On June 8, US warplanes shot down a Syrian drone near the Tanf garrison close to the Jordanian border. It was the third time in less than a month that US forces had struck Syrian forces near the base. 

On the same day, at least 17 civilians were killed when US airstrikes hit the northern Syrian city of Raqqah and its suburbs.

Read more:

US airstrikes shoot down drone, kill 17 civilians in Syria

On June 6, US warplanes attacked a Syrian military position on the road to the town of Tanf, where US forces are based, killing a number of people and causing some material damage which Russia condemned as an act of aggression.

Read more:

Russia: US bombing Syrian troops act of aggression

Last month, US military aircraft carried out an airstrike on a convoy of pro-Syrian government fighters advancing on the positions of foreign-backed militants near al-Tanf. Russia condemned the May 18 attack as a violation of international law.

Read more:

US jets bomb pro-government Syria forces advancing on militant base

The US and its allies have been bombarding what they say are Daesh positions inside Syria and Iraq since 2014. They have repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. 

The Pentagon has admitted to killing almost 500 civilians in the US campaign over the past three years, but monitoring groups say the actual number is around 3,800.

US operations do not have the permission of the Syrian government and are not coordinated with Damascus.

Syria has on several occasions written to the United Nations, saying the “illegal” attacks “blatantly contradict the UN Security Council’s resolutions, international law, and international humanitarian law.”