U.S. Fighter Jets Shoot Down Syrian SU-22 Fighter/Bomber Over Syria — Shortly After Syrian Government Fighter Jet Bombed U.S.-Backed Syrian Rebels In Northern Syria
Details are still coming in; but, I will not have time to do additional updates on this — this evening. The Pentagon has confirmed that U.S. F/A-18 fighter jet shot down a Syrian (Russian-made) SU-22 Fighter/Bomber over northern Syria earlier today — after Syrian jets bombed U.S.-backed Syrian rebel positions. The Pentagon, in a press release, said that “the downing of the aircraft came hours after Syrian loyalist (Assad’s forces), attacked U.S.-backed fighters known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, in the village of Ja’Din, southwest of the former Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa.
The Syrian military confirmed the shootdown; and, added that “the aircraft’s lone pilot was killed,” and claimed that their aircraft had been “carrying out a mission against the Islamic State,” which is what one would expect Assad’s cronies to say.
The Pentagon stated that prior to the shootdown, “the U.S. military used a deconfliction channel to communicate with Russia,” no doubt expressing its anger and determination to not stand idly by anymore, as Assad’s Russian-made fighter-bombers launched attacks against the U.S.-backed, Syrian Democratic Forces.
Col. John Thomas, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said “the Syrian aircraft arrived with little warning; and, that U.S. military fighter jets nearby tried to hail the Syrian jet after it dropped its bombs.” Col. Thomas also noted that U.S. military forces were in the area [where the Syrian jet dropped its munitions]; but, U.S. forces on the ground were never directly threatened.
“After the hailing attempts, a U.S. F/A-18 shot down the Syrian aircraft “in accordance with rules of engagement; and, in collective self-defense of coalition partnered forces,” the Pentagon said. According to the Washington Post online website this evening, Col. Thomas “rejected the Syrian government’s claims that the [their] jet was bombing ISIS targets, adding that Ja’Din is controlled by [U.S.-backed] Syrian Democratic Forces, and, that the terrorist group had not been in the area for some time.”
“The coalition’s mission is to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria,” the Pentagon’s statement said; but, added — “The coalition does not seek to fight [the] Syrian regime, Russia, or pro-regime [pro-Assad] forces partnered with them; but [we] will not hesitate to defend coalition, or partner forces from any threat.”
If Russian President Putin and Syria’s Assad did not get the message from the U.S. after U.S. aircraft bombed a Syrian air base in April after another use of chemical weapons on a civilian population — this one won’t be…lost in translation. POTUS Obama’s failure to follow through on his own Red Line threat over Assad’s use of chemical weapons on civilians — encouraged Assad and Moscow to not only continue their activities; but, expand them. After POTUS Trump’s election, and Secretary of Defense James Mattis accepted the position as Defense Secretary — well, there is……a new sheriff in town. The intellectually bankrupt Obama ‘strategy,’ of — Strategic Patience — led to our adversaries no longer fearing us; and, our allies not trusting us. Moscow invaded Ukraine, expanded its presence in Syria and the Middle East; and, solidified its military bases in the Arctic. China meanwhile, seeing that the Obama administration did little to check Russia’s threatening moves along its border with NATO; nor, Moscow’s Arctic expansion — decided that what was good for Russia, was also good for Beijing. China began building, and ultimately militarizing artificial islands near the disputed territories in the South China Sea; and, stepped up its military posture throughout the Pacific — in an attempt to demonstrate that Washington could no longer be counted on to act as a buffer to Beijing. As a consequence, U.S. presence and prestige had been withering in the Middle East, in Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia. Now that Washington has struck back, now twice in Syria — maybe the bleeding of U.S. power and prestige at least may be temporarily halted. The naive, damaging,and idealistic foreign policy espoused by former SecState John Kerry, and National Security Adviser Susan Rice has done so much damage, that these two moves to reestablish at least some modicum of U.S. power — unfortunately, will not do much to repair the enormous damage done under POTUS Obama. But, at least it is a beginning, and a major step in the right direction. V/R, RCP, fortunascorner.com