Aus flies out of Syria amid US-Russia tensions
The decision comes after a Syrian jet was shot down by US forces. File pic
Australia's military yesterday said it was temporarily halting air missions over Syria, following the shooting down of a Syrian jet by US forces. The decision came amid increasing tension between the US and Russia, which warned it would track coalition aircraft in Syria as potential "targets".
"As a precautionary measure, Australian Defence Force (ADF) strike operations into Syria have temporarily ceased," a defence spokeswoman said in a statement. No reason for the suspension was given, but The Australian newspaper said it was implemented as a precaution after the jet's downing.
"ADF personnel are closely monitoring the air situation in Syria and a decision on the resumption of ADF air operations in Syria will be made in due course," the spokeswoman added. "ADF operations in Iraq will continue as part of the coalition."
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780 Total Australian defence personnel in the Middle East
300 Personnel in Australia's Air Task Group