On June 18th, 2017 a Syrian regime SU-22 fighter jet was shot down by U.S. Coalition Forces.
This event occurred immediately after the fighter jet launched an attack on territory currently under control of the anti-Assad U.S.-backed ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF).
The U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down the Syrian jet in a show of force, undermining the Assad regime’s attempts to reclaim the city of Ja’Din and re-establish Syrian sovereignty.
The U.S. Coalition defended this course of action by claiming that the U.S. “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 Syrian Army has stated that this attack was “an attempt to undermine the efforts of the army as the only effective force capable with its allies in fighting terrorism across its territory,” they went on to say that this flagrant attack will have “serious repercussions.”
The Russian Defence Ministry has also issued a stark warning in response to the attacks, declaring that U.S.-led coalition planes in parts of the region currently being pursued by the Syrian regime will now be considered “aerial targets” by pro-regime forces.
“Any flying objects, including planes and drones of the international coalition, discovered west of the Euphrates River will be tracked as aerial targets by Russia’s air defenses on and above ground,” said the Defense Ministry in the official statement.
This escalation by the U.S. in Syria is sure to heighten the already overwhelming tensions in Syria, and it could have serious implications for the future of the conflict.
Russia, Iran and the Syrian regime had already warned the U.S. that they will “respond with force,” if the red-lines were crossed again in Syria after Commander-in-Chief Donald J. Trump authorized a missile strike in which 59 Tomahawk Missiles were fired at the Shayrat Syrian Air Base on April 7th, 2017.
If the situation escalates even further, this could lead to an extremely dangerous and alarming clash between world super powers the likes of which we have yet to imagine.
As always, the true victims of this conflict will ultimately be the people of Syria; as tyrants, terrorists and men in suits gamble for control over the fate of their country and their future.