Australia suspends airstrikes in Syria after US downed jet

FILE - In this June 13, 2017 file photo, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford prepares to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington. D

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia has suspended its airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria as a precaution after a U.S. fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane earlier this week.

In Canberra, a Defense Department statement said on Tuesday that "Australian Defense Force protection is regularly reviewed in response to a range of potential threats."

Australia has six fighter jets based in the United Arab Emirates that strike targets in Syria and Iraq.

The development comes as tensions rise in Syria with Russia and Iran sending U.S. warnings.

Russia threatened aircraft from the U.S.-led coalition in Syrian-controlled airspace and suspended a hotline intended to avoid collisions in retaliation for the U.S. military shooting down a Syrian warplane on Sunday. Also, Iran fired several ballistic missiles Sunday night at IS positions in eastern Syria.