United States shoots down Syrian aircraft for first time: Pentagon

United States shoots down Syrian aircraft for first time: Pentagon

United States shoots down Syrian aircraft for first time: Pentagon

A Syrian warplane was shot down over Raqqa by the United States-led coalition after a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near Syrian Democratic Force, or SDF, fighters, according to a statement by the US-led coalition.

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 coalition does not seek to fight the Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces, but will not hesitate to defend coalition or partner forces from any threat".

Syrian opposition activists say a 48-hour truce in the southern city of Daraa has been extended.

The area is of strategic significance to Tehran as it seeks to secure a land corridor to its allies in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and establish a "Shi'ite crescent" of influence that has long concerned USA -allied states in the Middle East.

A U.S. Super Hornet immediately responded and shot down the Syrian plane.

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But in April, Russia briefly suspended a hotline meant to prevent midair incidents with the USA over Syria after the American military fired 59 missiles at a Syrian air base following a chemical weapons attack that Washington blamed on the Assad government. This confirmed an earlier report from Damascus that one of its planes had gone missing after what it called "flagrant aggression".

"What is this if it is not an act of aggression or a direct violation of global law?" he said.

The SDF on Monday said it would be "forced to retalliate" if the Syrian government continued attacking its positions around Raqqa.

It's the first time the USA has shot down a Syrian aircraft since it began fighting ISIS in the country in 2014.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov also told the agency that a set of new US sanctions that can be imposed on Russia will lead Moscow to retaliate.

The incident was the latest skirmish between the US-led coalition and regime forces in the increasingly tense and crowded space in Syria's north and east.

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While nominally fighting Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) forces, the U.S. shoot-down makes clear that the real aim of American-led operations is the ousting of the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad.

Of the attack on Sunday, the USA coalition said an F-18 stopped the advance of Syrian pro-government troops with a "show of force".

As a result, the stage is set for a dramatic escalation of the Middle East conflict, where a relatively minor incident or clash involving U.S. forces and their Syrian, Iranian or Russian counterparts could erupt into a war that draws in major regional and world powers.

The Assad regime disputed the Pentagon's version of Sunday's events, claiming that the aircraft which was shot down had been engaged in actions against ISIS, not against US -backed rebel forces.

Iran's launch of its ballistic missiles against IS hit Syria's eastern city of Deir el-Zour on Sunday night and was its first such strike in the conflict.

Assad regime forces are backed by Russian Federation and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and by Shi'ite militia from Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

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Also Sunday, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps fired missiles at Islamic State targets in Syria in retaliation for attacks on the country's parliament and the tomb of its revolutionary founder that killed 17 people on June 7.

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