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US-led coalition’s jets violated Syrian airspace several times in past day: Russia

The file photo shows US aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush moving to Syria.

Russia says the US-led military coalition’s fighter jets violated Syria’s airspace in the strategic al-Tanf region several times during the past day, amid repeated calls by Damascus for the expulsion of Washington’s occupation forces from the country.

Rear Admiral Oleg Gurinov, deputy chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, said at a press briefing on Sunday that the al-Tanf airspace is where international air routes pass.

“A pair of the coalition’s F-16 fighter jets, and one MC-12W spy plane violated Syria’s airspace in the al-Tanf area, across which international air routes run, five times during the day,” he said.

Gurinov added that during the past 24 hours, twelve cases of violations of the de-confliction protocols of December 9, 2019 by the US-led coalition drones were recorded, warning that such actions create risks of air accidents with civilian planes.

He further said a shelling attack on the positions of government troops in Syria’s Idlib and Latakia de-escalation zone has injured a Syrian soldier.

The latest development comes as an unnamed Pentagon official declared earlier in the day that the US announced considering military options to address “Russian aggression in the skies over Syria.”

The unknown official further voiced US’s rising concerns about “growing ties between Iran, Russia, and Syria across the Middle East.”

The official also claimed that “Russia is beholden to Iran for its support in the war in Ukraine, and Tehran wants the US out of Syria” to extend aid to Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement “and threaten Israel.”

Such claims by Washington officials come as the US military is illegally occupying Syria with nearly 1,000 troops and has seized the country’s oil fields in cooperation with local anti-Damascus militants and terrorist groups while stealing its crude supplies and transferring them across the border to its bases in Iraq.

In 2014, the US and its allies invaded Syria under the pretext of fighting Daesh. The Takfiri terrorist group had emerged as Washington was running out of excuses to extend its regional meddling or enlarge it in scale.

Russia, alongside Iran, has been helping Syrian forces in battles across the conflict-plagued country, mainly providing aerial support to ground operations against foreign-backed terrorists.

Damascus maintains that the unauthorized US deployment aims to plunder the country’s natural resources.

Russia – which together with Turkey is carrying out joint patrols in northern Syria – has established special “de-confliction” zones where the US-led coalition can operate.

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