Tensions between the U.S., Syria and Russia took a turn for the worst yesterday when a U.S. F-18 Super Hornet shot down a Syrian government SU-22 aircraft.
According to The Hill, the Syrian plane dropped bombs near the U.S. partner forces, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces.
The shootdown was near Tabqa, a Syrian town in an area that has been a weeks-long focus of fighting against IS militants by the SDF as they surround the city of Raqqa and attempt to retake it from IS.
The U.S. military statement said it acted in “collective self defense” of its partner forces and that the U.S. did not seek a fight with the Syrian government or its Russian supporters.
This is the first time the U.S. has shot down a Syrian aircraft. The Pentagon says it has been recruiting, training and advising so-called moderate Syrian opposition forces to fight ISIS and would protect them from Syrian retaliation, but up until now, hadn’t made good on that promise.
Per Politico, Coalition aircraft conducted a show of force and stopped the initial pro-regime advance toward the town, the Pentagon said. Following the pro-Syrian forces attack, the coalition called its Russian counterparts “to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing,” according to the statement.
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.
“The coalition’s mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” the Pentagon said, using an abbreviation for the Islamic State group. “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.
Russia was having none of it.
According to The Hill, Russia will now treat all U.S.-led coalition planes in Syria that fly west of the Euphrates River as targets.
That can’t be good news.
Nor can it be helpful to those on the left who are STILL trying to convince us President Trump and “The Russians” are in cahoots.
If they’re having a bromance, they’ve got a funny way of showing it.
[This article was written by Michele Hickford, author of the brutally honest and bitingly funny Do I Need To Slap You?]