According to the Department of Defense, an F-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Su-22 jet after the village of  Ja’Din, southwest of Raqqa was bombed. The village is currently being held by Syrian Democratic Forces which the US backs in the fight against Islamic State. Several of the SDF fighters were reportedly injured in the bombing. The US Super Hornet that participated in the first air-to-air combat in over a decade was from the USS George H.W. Bush.

Later the U.S. Central Command issued a statement saying the Syrian plane was downed “in collective self-defense of Coalition-partnered forces,” identified as fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near Tabqah.

It said that “pro-Syrian regime forces” had earlier attacked an SDF held town south of Tabqa and wounded a number of fighters and driving them from the town.

Coalition aircraft in a show of force stopped the initial advance. When a Syrian army SU-22 jet later dropped bombs near the U.S. backed forces, it was immediately shot by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet, the statement said.

Before it downed the plane, the coalition had “contacted the its Russian counterparts by telephone via an established “de-confliction line” to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing.”

The coalition does “not seek to fight the Syrian regime, Russian or pro-regime forces” but would not “hesitate to defend itself or its “partnered forces from any threat,” the statement said.” – Reuters

The Washington Post reported that this is the fourth time this month the US has engaged Pro-Syrian forces.   The Syrian military released this statement following the altercation that killed their pilot.

The attack stresses coordination between the US and ISIS, and it reveals the evil intentions of the US in administrating terrorism and investing it to pass the US-Zionist project in the region,” the Syrian statement said, using an acronym for the Islamic State.” – Washington Post 

This deadly strike not only sends a message to Syria but also to Turkey and Russia that the US will not tolerate anyone that threatens our allies or US forces in the area.

Image courtesy of DoD