On Sunday, the Defense Department released a statement that Navy jet downed a Syrian Air Force jet that had dropped bombs on US-aligned rebels that are fighting to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS). The statement reiterated that the U.S.-led coalition is focused on defeating ISIS rather than Russia or Syrian President Bashr Al-Assad-s regime. However, the statement asserted that the United States "will not hesitate to defend Coalition or partner forces from any threat."

In Ja’Din -- a town in northern Syria -- combatants of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is aligned with the US, were attacked by the Syrian military at approximately 4:30 p.m. local time. SDF was driven from the town. “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."

Approximately two hours later at local time, a Russian-made SU-22 of the Syrian air force dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqa. This brought about a aerial response on the part of the United States, which acted in “collective self-defense." After the felling of the Syrian Air Force jet, the statement from DoD read: "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."



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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