Led coalition says downed Assad regime jet in Syria's Tabqah

Syrian army says US-led coalition downed Syrian army plane

The U.S. -led coalition shot down a Syrian warplane over Syria's northern city of Raqqa on Sunday, the Syrian army said in a statement.

A USA strike aircraft shot down a Syrian government fighter jet shortly after it bombed US -backed Syrian fighters in North Syria, the Pentagon said in a statement Sunday.

It said that two hours earlier, forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad attacked SDF fighters in the town of Ja'Din south of Tabqah, "wounding a number of SDF fighters and driving the SDF from the town".

This is the latest example of tension between the Russian-backed Syrian regime and US -led coalition forces, who are partnering with Arab and Kurdish forces to destroy ISIS. 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.

This appears to mark a new escalation of the conflict. The shootdown was near the Syrian town of Tabqa.

Earlier this month, a U.S. F-15 shot down an Iranian drone in southern Syria after it fired on USA -backed forces.

Just hours earlier, the U.S. bombed Syrian government and allied troops inside a protected zone in that area, and marked a sharp escalation in the skirmishes between the coalition and those pro-Syrian government forces there.

The Pentagon says the coalition's mission in Syria and Iraq is to defeat Islamic State. The coalition also said that Russian officers had been contacted on a special "de-confliction" hotline in an effort to halt the regime's attack.

Later the U.S. Central Command issued a statement saying the Syrian plane was downed "in collective self-defense of Coalition-partnered forces", identified as fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near Tabqah.

The last time a USA pilot shot down a manned enemy aircraft was on May 4, 1999, when Lt. Col. Michael H. Geczy of the 78th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron downed a Serbian Mig-29 over Bosnia using an AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile.

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