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United States shoots down Syrian Air Force fighter

19 June 2017

Earlier on Sunday, the Syrian army said that "the so-called worldwide 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 of ISIL, which is also known as ISIS.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched a new attack in the western Al-Raqqa, targeting the southeastern countryside of Tabaqa.

A U.S. military jet has shot down a Syrian Air Force fighter plane that bombed local forces aligned with the Americans in the fight against Islamic State militants.

"The Coalition's mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria", the USA task force in charge of operations in Syria and Iraq announced on Sunday.

Over the last four weeks, the US has conducted three airstrikes at pro-regime Assad forces, backed by Iran, that have moved into a deconfliction zone around the town of at Tanf in southwest Syria, which is the location of a coalition training base for local forces fighting ISIS. When a Syrian army SU-22 jet later dropped bombs near the US backed forces, it was immediately shot by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet, the statement said.

Coalition aircraft then stopped the pro-regime forces' initial advance with a "show of force", the coalition added.

Following the strike, the coalition alerted Russian counterparts to de-escalate the situation.

A Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian SU-22 on Sunday, giving the USA military its first air-to-air kill since 1999. US -backed forces have encircled the city of Raqqa and captured several districts from the militants.

A few hours later, the Syrian SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters and, "in collective self-defense of coalition-partnered forces", was immediately shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet, the Pentagon said.