US Jet Downs Syrian Plane in Raqqa

US Jet Downs Syrian Plane in Raqqa US Jet Downs Syrian Plane in Raqqa

A US fighter jet has shot down a Syrian government plane in Syria’s Raqqa Province, officials from both sides have said.

The US-led coalition on Sunday said it downed the plane after it dropped bombs on American-backed forces fighting the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group in northern Syria. 

The Syrian Army said its jet was on a combat mission against the armed group’s fighters near the city of Raqqa, IS de-facto capital in Syria, Aljazeera reported.

The incident came as a monitoring group reported the first ground fighting between Syrian government troops and the US-backed alliance of Kurdish and Arab fighters.

“At 6:43 p.m. (1743 GMT), a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) fighters south of Tabqa and, in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of coalition partnered forces, was immediately shot down by a US F/A-18E Super Hornet,” the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement.

It said that two hours earlier, forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attacked SDF fighters in the town of Ja’din south of Tabqa, “wounding a number of SDF fighters and driving the SDF from the town”.

Earlier on Sunday, the Syrian Army said that “the so-called international alliance today noon targeted the jet over the area of al-Rasafa in the southern countryside of al-Raqqa while it was on a combat mission against the terrorist Daesh”, using an Arabic acronym for IS.

The pilot of the jet went missing after this “flagrant aggression”, the army’s command added in a statement, according to Syria’s state news agency SANA.

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