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U.S., Iran flex muscles in Syria deterrence, Russia warns Washington | Reuters

By Tom Perry and Babak Dehghanpisheh

BEIRUT The United States and Iran have flexed their military muscles in unprecedented ways in Syria to deter attacks on their allies and interests, with Russia warning Washington on Monday it would treat any U.S.-led coalition planes in its area of operations as potential targets after the U.S. military downed a Syrian jet.

Tensions escalated on Sunday as the U.S. military brought down the jet near Raqqa for bombing near U.S.-allied forces on the ground, and Iran launched missiles at Islamic State targets in eastern Syria – the first time each state has carried out such actions in the multi-sided Syrian war.

While aimed at Islamic State, the Iranian strike was also a projection of military power into part of Syria identified as a top priority by Damascus and its allies, and followed a recent tussle with…

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