Syrian plane attacking US backed forces is shot down by F-18

Washington Times:
The convoluted war zone in Syria grew more complicated Sunday with the downing of a government warplane by an American jet defending U.S.-backed coalition forces battling the Islamic State and, for the first time, direct action against the insurgent terror group by Iran, which fired ballistic missiles at Islamic State targets in Syria.

The American shootdown of the Syrian jet took place near the Syrian town of Ja’Din, located south of Tabqa dam, the coalition’s main logistics and air support hub for the ongoing assault to drive the terror group also known as ISIS or ISIL from their self-styled capital of Raqqa, according to a Pentagon statement.

“Pro Syrian regime forces” had launched an attack on Ja’Din Sunday afternoon, retaking the town from the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, the network of Arab and Kurdish militias tasked by the U.S. coalition with liberating Raqqa.

U.S. warplanes carried out several low passes over the Ja’Din, halting the attack by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

It remains unclear whether the regime forces that led the assault on Ja’Din were government troops or Iranian paramilitaries sent in by Tehran to support the regime.

After the assault on Ja’Din was turned back, a Syrian-flagged SU-22 fighter launched airstrikes on SDF fighters retaking positions inside the city. An F/A-18 Super Hornet was sent to take out the Syrian warplane, which it did, “in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces,” according to the Pentagon.
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The Syrians have been testing the limits of their attempt to regain territory from ISIS and take advantage of the US operations against ISIS.  Earlier they used a drone to attack US coalition forces and it too was shot down.

The Russians have issued some bluster about the attacked and made threats to US aircraft as a result of the shoot down, but analysts see this as rubbish.

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