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Australia to Resume Airstrikes in Syria After Russian Warning

© REUTERS / Rodi SaidSmoke rises from the Raqqa province Syria. (File)
Smoke rises from the Raqqa province Syria. (File) - Sputnik International
Australia’s Department of Defense said Thursday it had lifted a suspension of airstrikes in Syria, two days after it was imposed in response to a Russian warning to treat coalition jets as targets.

A general view shows the Kurdish-controlled city of Afrin, northern Syria. (File) - Sputnik International
Syrian Kurds Say Turkish Troops Preparing for Offensive on Town of Afrin
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia severed communication with the US-led coalition operating in Syria after a US jet downed a Syrian Su-22 fighter near the city of Tabqah last Sunday. The Russian defense Ministry said it would track all coalition planes west of Euphrates. Australia is part of that campaign.

An Australian defense spokesman said the temporary operational pause was "a precautionary measure to allow the Coalition to assess the operational risk," according to The Australian newspaper. "The suspension has since been lifted," he added.

The international coalition of more than 60 Gulf Arab and Western nations has been bombing Islamist positions in Syria since September 2014 without consent of the Syrian government. Russia launched its own air offensive against radicals after request from Damascus in September 2015.

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