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The Wall Street Journal: U.S. fighter jet shoots down Syrian plane

June 18, 2017
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An American warplane shot down a Syrian government jet on Sunday, the Pentagon said, marking the first time in Syria’s civil war that a U.S. pilot has shot down a regime plane and signaling an increased willingness by the Trump administration to directly challenge President Bashar al-Assad and his allies.

On Sunday, the U.S. military said it had shot down the Syrian Su-22 after regime jets twice attacked members of American-backed Syrian fighters leading the assault on Raqqa, the self-declared capital of the Islamic State terror group.

Also see: Iran fires missiles at Islamic State targets in Syria

With the strike, the U.S. military made it clear it is now willing to shoot down Syrian regime jets to protect the coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters working with U.S. special-operation forces to push Islamic State, also known as ISIS, from Raqqa.

The U.S. military said the confrontation began Sunday afternoon when Syrian jets attacked the Syrian Democratic Forces near Raqqa, forcing the U.S.-backed fighters to retreat as they evacuated their injured. The U.S. carried out an unspecified “show of force” that stopped regime forces from advancing, the military said.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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