US Shoots Down Syrian Air Force Fighter

In Syria, night is a friend to anti-ISIL fighters

In Syria, night is a friend to anti-ISIL fighters

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

The US military overnight shot down a Syrian Air Force fighter jet that bombed local forces aligned with the Americans in the fight against ISIS militants, an action that appeared to mark a new escalation of the conflict.

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".

A Syrian army statement released on Syrian state television said the plane crashed and the pilot was missing. Coalition aircraft stopped the pro-regime forces from advancing on Ja'Din.

The strike was believed to be the US military's first air-to-air kill in years.

"This comes at a time when the Syrian army and its allies were making clear advances in fighting the Daesh (Islamic State) terrorist group".

Tanf is a key town on the Iraq-Syrian border that has been home to a U.S. Special Operations training outpost for months. "The coalition does not seek to fight Syrian regime, Russian, or pro-regime forces partnered with them, but will not hesitate to defend coalition or partner forces from any threat".

The U.S. -led coalition, which has in recent weeks escalated its aerial bombing campaign in northern Syria and Raqqa province.

USA forces tangled earlier this month with Syria-allied aircraft in the region.

Sunday's incident came after Syrian aircraft attacked Syrian Democratic Forces earlier in the day, wounding several of the fighters, who are allies of the US -led coalition to destroy ISIS, Combined Joint Task Force -Operation Inherent Resolve announced in a news release.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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