The US-led coalition has shot down a government warplane which was carrying out operations against ISIS in the southern Raqqa countryside according to a statement by the Syrian army.
The statement which was posted on facebook said that the pilot was missing.
— Alaa Ebrahim (@Alaa_Ebrahim_tv) June 18, 2017
RT reports: According to the statement, the plane was carrying out operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in the countryside around Raqqa when it was targeted, leading to a crash and the loss of the pilot, who is currently missing.
“This attack comes at a time when the Syrian Arab army and its allies are advancing in the fight against ISIS terrorists who are being defeated in the Syrian desert in more ways than one,” the statement read.
The statement added that although such attacks seek to undermine the Syrian armed forces’ struggle against terrorism, they will not be deterred in fighting for stability and security in the Syrian Arab Republic.
This is not the first time that the US-led intervention in Syria has led to standoffs and violence against pro-government forces. In September 2016, a coalition airstrike on Deir ez-Zor killed over 60 Syrian soldiers while in April 2017, US President Donald Trump ordered a Tomahawk missile strike on the Shayrat airbase, ostensibly in retaliation for the use of chemical weapons by the Syria government, though no concrete evidence of this has emerged.
Earlier in June, the US deployed several High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) in southern Syria, close to the border with Jordan. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the presence of the rocket launchers cannot be justified by a need to fight Islamic State terrorists, as IS forces are not active in the area. Instead, their presence threatens the cooperation between the Syrian government and their partners in Iraq.
The US military have confirmed that their F/A-18 fighter jet shot down a Syrian government SU-22 attack plane over Syria, accusing the Syrian plane of dropping bombs on US-led coalition fighters of the rebel Syrian Democratic Forces.
However this comes just days after US military allowed ISIS to escape from Raqqa.