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US shoots down Syrian aircraft for first time

19 Juin 2017

Meanwhile, the USA -backed opposition fighters said Assad's forces have been attacking their positions in the northern province of Raqqa and warned that if such attacks continue, the fighters will take action. The pilot is missing, the Syrian statement said. Russian Federation demanded thorough investigation into the United States command's actions related to the downing of the Syrian government jet by the US-led coalition.

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

The government said that the fighter jet was shot down south of Raqqa near the town of Resafa on Sunday afternoon. Thomas also said US forces were in the area but were not directly threatened.

"The attack comes at a time when the Syrian army is making strides in the war on IS terror group, which is collapsing in the Syrian desert thanks to the progress of the Syrian army and allied forces", it added.

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A spokesperson for the US-backed coalition said the attack followed a Syrian bombing mission against their local allies, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The fighters were instrumental in retaking towns and villages from the Islamic State in recent months and are fighting to retake the extremist group's de-facto capital of Raqqa.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the presence of the rocket launchers can not be justified by a need to fight Islamic State terrorists, as IS forces are not active in the area. Washington is leading an alliance in the fight against Islamic State in Syria.

Later, a Syrian government Su-22 attacked the SDF forces with bombs, stated he CNN report. A foreign drone purportedly bombed a joint US and Syrian patrol outside the At Tanf camp last Tuesday. According to SDF officials, the USA air force is lacking intensity on conducting air strikes to dislodge ISIS fighters from major defensive positions in and around Raqqa. The camp, along the Syrian-Iraqi border is being used by US special operations military advisers to train Syrian militias to battle ISIS in Raqqa and beyond.

It was referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, another name for ISIL.

US shoots down Syrian aircraft for first time