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Coalition downs Syrian plane near Raqqa

By Rudaw 18/6/2017
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The US-led anti-ISIS coalition has downed a Syrian army jet near Raqqa, the Syrian army said in a statement, accusing the United States of an act of aggression. The coalition has confirmed the incident, stating that Syrian forces had attacked their allied SDF forces on the ground. 

The Syrian plane was carrying out a mission against ISIS in southern Raqqa province when it was downed, the Syrian army announced in a published statement, calling it an act of “blatant aggression” on the part of the United States.  

The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon and the pilot is missing, the statement added.

The coalition issued a statement defending the attack and accused pro-Syrian regime forces of attacking the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Ja’Din south of Tabqa, “wounding a number of SDF fighters and driving SDF from the town.”

According to the coalition, pro-Syrian regime forces attacked the SDF at around 4.30 pm on Sunday afternoon. The coalition carried out a “show of force” to stop the attack and then contacted Russia via the de-confliction line in order to de-escalate the situation.

More than two hours later, a Syrian regime plane bombed SDF fighters south of Tabqa. A US plane “immediately shot down” the Syrian one “in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces.”

The coalition added that it does not seek conflict with the Syrian regime and its allies but it will “not hesitate to defend” itself and its partners. 

Conflict monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the Syrian plane was not targeting SDF in the area. 

The Observatory and local journalists on the ground have reported clashes between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and regime forces in the area. 

The SDF are leading the offensive to oust ISIS from Raqqa. They are receiving support, both in the air and on the ground, from the US-led coalition. 

The Syrian army has made recent advances in the area, pushing southeast from Aleppo.

Last updated at 11:36 pm


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Bohuslav Vorel | 18/6/2017
The question is who will take over Deir ez Zor.
Dutchman | 19/6/2017
The US should down all SAA warplanes as well as the Assad regime. Assad and Putin are just trying to obstruct the SDF to liberate Raqqa. They are not helping in any way to defeat ISIS, but just trying to keep criminal minority regime in power. The whole world should support the SDF, the only hope for Syria.
State for the Kurds. | 19/6/2017
Excelent news. A stiff response to the Arab tyrany that so long has used vicious violence and suppressed the brave race of the Kurds .This an end to the hitherto denial of the Kurdish existence. LONG LIVE THE KURDISH STATE.
Kurdo | 19/6/2017
Great news. SDF is the only force that US and its allies can count on. We Kurds are grateful for the support our american friends.
Ashur | 19/6/2017
North Iraq and Syria is Assyrian land Kurds should leave it;

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