World Bulletin / News Desk
An American Navy fighter jet shot down a Syrian regime SU-22 fighter jet shortly after it attacked U.S. partner forces, the anti-ISIL coalition said Sunday.
The Syrian aircraft had dropped bombs near Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) south of Tabqah, which the group seized from ISIL in May, according to the coalition statement that said the mission closely followed a "Pro-Syrian regime forces" advance on the town of Ja'Din.
It said "a number of SDF fighters" were wounded in the offensive on Ja'Din.
"Pro-Syrian regime forces" could include Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's Syrian Arab Army, Lebanese Hezbollah, Iranian forces or pro-Assad militia.
The coalition said its advance was halted by an unspecified "show of force.
"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," Operation Inherent Resolve said.
Within hours the SU-22 dropped bombs near the SDF position, prompting a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet to immediately shoot it down "in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces", the coalition said.
The coalition stressed it does not seek hostilities with Syrian, Russian or pro-Assad forces, but "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".
It was referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, another name for ISIL.
The shoot down Sunday marks the latest escalation in hostilities between the coalition and the Syrian military since the U.S. entered the conflict in 2014 to defeat ISIL.
It closely follows three coalition airstrikes on pro-Syrian regime forces in southern Syria that the coalition said were aimed at halting advances on U.S. and partner forces garrisoned along the Syrian-Iraqi border.
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