June 19, 2017 1:17 pm
Updated: June 21, 2017 2:51 pm

Canada mum on threat of Russia shooting down war planes over Syria

After the U.S. shot down a Syrian fighter jet, Russia warned it would track coalition aircraft as targets over the western part of the besieged country. Jackson Proskow reports.


OTTAWA – There are fears Canadian military aircraft operating over Syria could be caught in the middle of a new and potentially explosive dispute between the U.S. and Russia.

Moscow is warning that it will target allied aircraft operating west of the Euphrates River in Syria in retaliation for the U.S. shooting down a Syrian government warplane on Sunday.

American officials say the Syrian jet dropped bombs near U.S.-backed forces fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – a claim the Syrian government and Russia both dispute.

READ MORE: Russia threatens to target U.S.-led coalition planes that fly over Syria

The Canadian military has been flying surveillance aircraft and a refuelling plane over Syria for the past several months as part of its contribution to the U.S.-led anti-ISIL coalition.

WATCH: Russian defence minister’s plane buzzed by NATO jet

National Defence says it is monitoring the situation, but otherwise won’t comment on where the planes have been flying in Syria and whether they are in any danger.

The Trudeau government is reviewing possible changes to Canada’s mission against ISIL, whose current mandate is set to expire at the end of the month.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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