Australia Halts Syria Air Strikes After Russia Warning

Strikes in Iraq Will Continue

Following Russia’s warning that US-coalition warplanes that stray outside of certain parts of Syria will be considered targets for their air defense, Australia has announced it will be totally halting air operations inside Syria as a “precautionary move.”

The Australian Defense Department presented the move as temporary, and insisted that strikes in Iraq will continue. Among US coalition members, Australia is carrying out one of the highest levels of airstrikes in both countries, though naturally they are all far fewer than US strikes.

Analysts were complaining Australia’s move threatened to show disunity within the coalition and put the US in a “very difficult position,” though to be fair getting their planes shot down by Russian air defense would’ve put Australia into a pretty difficult position as well.

That Australia reacted to Russia’s warning reflects how seriously many are taking it, though the US appears to be shrugging it off more or less entirely, having carried out another attack on pro-Syrian forces today, shooting down an Iranian drone in one of the areas Russia told the US to stay out of.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.