Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

US shoots down Syrian Air Force fighter

US shoots down Syrian Air Force fighter

The downing of the government aircraft came shortly after Syrian forces bombed US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the village of Ja'Din, southwest of Raqqa.

A USA strike aircraft shot down a Syrian government fighter jet shortly after it bombed us -backed Syrian fighters in North Syria, the Pentagon said in a statement Sunday.

Washington DC [U.S.], June 19 (ANI): A U.S. plane has shot down a Syrian military aircraft that dropped bombs near U.S. -backed fighters in Syria.

The Syrian army issued a statement on state television claiming its pilot is missing.

US Central Command said in a statement that the plane was shot down "in collective self-defence of Coalition-partnered forces".

"The coalition's mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria", the Pentagon said, using an abbreviation for the Islamic State group.

"The Coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat".

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Coalition aircraft in a show of force stopped the initial advance. The Pentagon said it had also made contact with Russian counterparts through a "de-confliction" channel in order to stop the attack and de-escalate the situation.

USA -led jets stopped the fighting by flying close to the ground and at a low speed in what is called a "show of force", the Pentagon said.

Before it downed the Syrian plane, the US military used a deconfliction channel to communicate with Russia, Syria's main ally, to prevent the situation from escalating, the Pentagon said.

An SDF official told Reuters the Syrian army had been engaged in skirmishes in recent days with US -backed forces near the town of Maskaneh close to the borders of Raqqa province, much of which is now held by USA -backed groups fighting Islamic State.

USA forces tangled earlier this month with Syria-allied aircraft in the region.

The rebel force reportedly targeted by the Syrian Su-22 on Sunday - the SDF - is a USA -backed alliance comprising Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen factions.

Meanwhile, the Syrian army warned of the "dangerous repercussions" of the attack, stressing that such acts will not dissuade the Syrian army from carrying on with fighting the terrorist groups and restoring peace and security to all of Syria.

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