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SDF Spokesman: We will retaliate if Syrian government attacks again

SDF Spokesman: We will retaliate if Syrian government attacks again”

The US-led coalition on Sunday said it downed the plane after it dropped bombs on American-backed forces fighting ISIL in northern Syria.

But it went a step further, warning that anything in the air west of the Euphrates River - including coalition aircraft - would be considered a target.

At 6:43 p.m., the Syrian plane dropped bombs near USA -allied fighters south of Tabqah, the us military said.

Later, the coalition confirmed the information saying that it shot down the Syrian government forces' Su-22 aircraft as it had allegedly been bombing in an area where US-backed rebel forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), were stationed, south of Tabqa in the Raqqa province.

Farther south, near a small military base in the southern Syrian town of Tanf, the USA military has conducted three airstrikes in less than a month against what it says are forces directed by the Iranian government and loyal to Assad.

A US-led coalition fighter jet shot down a Syrian military plane in Raqqa province on Monday, drawing ire from Moscow and Damascus.

"The coalition's mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria".

Russia, a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, has been providing an air cover to the government's offensive since 2015. While claiming that they were in retaliation for the June 7 ISIS attacks in Tehran, the missile attacks into the Deir es-Zor area were clearly aimed at bolstering the Syrian government forces.

The Syrian jet was shot down on Sunday evening after regime forces engaged fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance battling with USA support against IS, in an area close to Raqa.

As a result, the stage is set for a dramatic escalation of the Middle East conflict, where a relatively minor incident or clash involving United States forces and their Syrian, Iranian or Russian counterparts could erupt into a war that draws in major regional and world powers.

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The Pentagon said the downing of the aircraft came hours after Syrian loyalist forces attacked US -backed fighters, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, in the village of Ja'Din, southwest of Raqqa.

Ozerov insisted that Russia will be tracking the coalition's jets, not shooting them down, but he added that "a threat for those jets may appear only if they take action that pose a threat to Russian aircraft".

"Multiple military actions of USA aviation under the guise of fighting terrorism against the legal military of a state that is a member of the United Nations are a flagrant violation of global law and constitute de facto military aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic", the ministry said.

It said the attack aims at undermining the capability of the Syrian army, "the only effective power practicing its legitimate rights in fighting terrorism across the homeland".

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergey Ryabkov, described Sunday's shoot-down as an act of aggression by the U.S. and "an act of assistance to those terrorists whom the United States is ostensibly fighting against".

In what the US military said was an act of "collective self-defense of coalition-partnered forces", a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter jet "immediately" shot down the Syrian aircraft after it dropped bombs near Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) positions south of Tabqah, which lies south-west of Raqqa.

For several months the coalition has been backing SDF forces in a long-running attempt to capture the IS stronghold of Raqqa, where the group now holds four neighbourhoods.

For this reason, among others, the mixed motives of the USA -led coalition and its non-state partners compromise the legal basis of their military operations and draw them into conflict with Russia-both legally and militarily. Coalition aircraft conducted a show of force, but the situation continued to escalate, culminating in the downing of the Syrian war plane.

An Army spokesman at the Pentagon said at the time that the drone carried more weapons and was considered a direct threat, prompting the shootdown. In April, the United States itself accidentally hit an SDF position during a strike against what it believed were Islamic State forces.

By comparison, the Syrian army said its forces had been fighting IS in a statement released by the government-owned SANA agency.



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