June 19, 2017 / 6:11 PM / in a month

White House says retains the right to self-defence in Syria

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday that coalition forces fighting Islamic State militants in Syria would retain the right to self- defence, and said the United States would work to keep lines of communication open with Russia amid new tensions.

Russia warned the United States on Monday that it would view as targets any planes flying west of the Euphrates River after the U.S. Army brought down a jet near Raqqa.

"It's important and crucial that we keep lines of communication open to deconflict potential issues," White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters in a briefing.

Reporting by Steve Holland, writing by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Jonathan Oatis

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