Tensions escalate over USA downing Syrian jet

An American fighter jet has for the first time downed a Syrian warplane that Washington accused of attacking US-backed fighters, in a new escalation between the United States and regime forces.

The American F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down the Syrian SU-22 around 7:00 pm as it “dropped bombs near SDF fighters” south of the town of Tabqa, the coalition said in a statement.

The ministry called the attack “a cynical violation of Syria’s sovereignty” and said Russian Federation was halting so-called deconfliction coordination with the US aimed at averting air incidents.

The US-led coalition called its attack on the Syrian army’s jet “collective self-defense”, adding that it contacted the Russian military to de-escalate the situation after the incident.

“All flying objects, including planes and drones of the worldwide coalition, detected west of the Euphrates, will be followed by Russian air defence systems as targets“, the Russian Defence Ministry said in a statement. The coalition-partnered forces were members of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Reuters reports.

In a separate incident, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said they had launched several missiles from Iran into eastern Syria on Sunday, targeting IS fighters.

“Russian Aerospace Forces’ jets were conducting operations in Syrian airspace that time. And the Syrian regime and others in the regime need to understand that we will retain the right of self-defence, of coalition forces aligned against ISIS”, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

US forces tangled previously on this month with Syria-allied aircraft in the region.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russian news agencies on Monday that the downing was akin to “helping the terrorists that the U.S.is fighting against”.

“For operational security considerations, the Canadian Armed Forces will not disclose the frequency of the flights or the exact locations nor the details of our force protection measures and risk assessment process”, spokeman Daniel Le Bouthillier said in an email.

A United States fighter jet has shot down a Syrian government plane in Syria’s Raqqa Province, officials from both sides have said. The confrontation marked the first time the United States has downed a pro-government aircraft since the Syrian civil war began in 2011.

The Pentagon said Sunday a Syrian SU-22 dropped bombs on Coalition-partnered fighters near the town of Tabqah.

American officials say the Syrian jet dropped bombs close to USA -backed forces fighting near the city of Raqqa, which serves as ISIL’s de facto capital.

The dispute over the Syrian attack on the USA -backed fighters and the American response came as Iran launched ballistic missiles at Islamic State strongholds in eastern Syria in retaliation for a pair of attacks by extremists in Tehran earlier this month that killed 17 people.