A U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet from the carrier air wing aboard the USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) shot down a Syrian SU-22 fighter jet this afternoon, after it dropped bombs on part of a U.S.-led coalition dedicated to defeating ISIS.
“At approximately 4:30 p.m. Syria time, Pro-Syrian regime forces attacked the Syrian Democratic Forces-held town of Ja’Din, South of Tabqah, wounding a number of SDF fighters and driving the SDF from the town,” says the NAVY in their press release.
“Coalition aircraft conducted a show of force and stopped the initial pro-regime advance toward the SDF-controlled town.
Following the Pro-Syrian forces attack, the Coalition contacted its Russian counterparts by telephone via an established ‘de-confliction line’ to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing.
At 6:43 p.m., a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah and, in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces, was immediately shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet.
Ja’Din sits approximately two kilometers north of an established East-West SDF-Syrian Regime de-confliction area.”
It’s the first air-to-air kill for the F/A-18 since two shot down a pair of Iraqi MiG-21s in the Gulf War, and the first air-to-air kill between manned aircraft for the U.S. since 1999, when an Air Force F-16 shot down a Serbian MiG-29 over Kosovo.
The U.S.-led coalition stressed its focus is on fighting ISIS, not the Syrian regime or Russian forces, but also reminded them it will not hesitate to defend their forces coming under attack.
“The Coalition’s mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The Coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat.
The Coalition presence in Syria addresses the imminent threat ISIS in Syria poses globally. The demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces toward Coalition and partner forces in Syria conducting legitimate counter-ISIS operations will not be tolerated.
The Coalition calls on all parties to focus their efforts on the defeat of ISIS, which is our common enemy and the greatest threat to regional and worldwide peace and security.”
A U.S. Air Force F-15 was engaged in an air to air strike recently over Syria too, when it shot down an unmanned drone after it dropped a munition near U.S. ground and coalition forces.
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