Update: U.S. Central Command issued a statement saying the plane was downed “in collective self-defense of Coalition-partnered forces,” identified as fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces near Tabqah. It is unclear if these particular “forces” were getting their funding from Saudi Arabia or Qatar.
And a quick situational take from Worldview:
A U.S. Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian government Su-22 fighter jet on June 18 that had dropped bombs on Syrian rebel forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria, ABC News reported. The U.S.-led coalition said in a statement that its focus is on fighting the militant group, and not fighting the Syrian government or Russian forces, but it will defend coalition forces coming under attack. The incident occurred in a town south of Tabqa, Syria, which had been retaken from the Islamic State by the Syrian Democratic Forces, an umbrella group of Syrian Kurdish and Arab rebel forces, in preparation for the offensive on the stronghold of Raqqa.
The downing is the latest escalation between the U.S.-led coalition and pro-government forces in Syria. The United States has also recently conducted airstrikes at pro-Syrian government forces that have moved into a deconfliction zone around the town of at al-Tanf in southwest Syria, which is the location of a coalition training base for local forces fighting the Islamic State.
Meanwhile, the Syrians are not happy with the US strike:
You American bastards just shot down my cousin’s aircraft (Ali) while taking out the scumbags of ISIS in the area.
Ali hope you are OK bro? pic.twitter.com/z6IKFgbtqJ
— Majd Fahd ?? (@Syria_Protector) June 18, 2017
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The US-led, so-called anti-terrorist, coalition has reportedly shot down a Syrian government forces aircraft. Reuters reports the Syrian Arab Army announced that the aircraft was brought down in the southern Raqqa countryside, while it was engaging a fleeing ISIS convoy. The pilot remains missing.
— Within Syria (@WithinSyriaBlog) June 18, 2017
The International Alliance (IAAF) this afternoon called for the targeting of one of our fighter jets in the Rusafa area in the southern Rifqa district while carrying out a combat mission against an organization calling on the terrorist in the area, which led to the plane crash and the loss of the pilot.
This blatant attack confirms beyond doubt the reality of the US position supporting terrorism, which aims to try to influence the ability of the Syrian Arab army the only effective force with its allies that exercise their legitimate right to fight terrorism throughout the territory of the homeland, especially as this attack comes at a time that achieves In which the Syrian Arab Army and its allies made clear progress in fighting the organization calling on the terrorist who is being defeated in the Syrian desert on more than one direction.
It also affirms the existing coordination between the United States of America and the organization of the terrorist advocate, and exposes the malicious intentions of the United States of America in the management and investment of terrorism to achieve its objectives in passing the American Zionist project in the region.
The General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces, warning of the serious consequences of this blatant attack on counterterrorism efforts, affirms that such attacks will not discourage them from their determination and determination to continue the war against the terrorist organizations and groups associated with them and restore security and stability to all the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic.
Damascus, 18 June 2017
General Command of the Army and Armed Forces
Freelance Journalist Alaa Ebrahim reports the aircraft was engaging a fleeing ISIS convoy…
— Alaa Ebrahim (@Alaa_Ebrahim_tv) June 18, 2017