US downs Syr­ian plane

Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur) - - World - Agence France­Presse letters@hindustantimes.com

NEW ES­CA­LA­TION Ex­perts warn of high risks in in­creas­ingly crowded bat­tle­field

An Amer­i­can fighter jet has for the first time downed a Syr­ian war­plane that Wash­ing­ton ac­cused of at­tack­ing US-backed fight­ers, in a new es­ca­la­tion be­tween the United States and regime forces.

The in­ci­dent fur­ther com­pli­cates the coun­try’s six-year war and comes as a US-led coali­tion and al­lied fight­ers bat­tle to oust the Is­lamic State group from its Syr­ian bas­tion Raqa.

An­a­lysts say nei­ther Wash­ing­ton nor Pres­i­dent Bashar alAs­sad’s regime ap­pear to be seek­ing fur­ther con­fronta­tion, but warn the risks are high in Syria’s crowded bat­tle­fields.

The Syr­ian jet was shot down af­ter regime forces en­gaged fight­ers from the Syr­ian Demo­cratic Forces (SDF), an al­liance bat­tling with US sup­port against IS, in an area close to Raqa.

The Amer­i­can F/A-18E Su­per Hor­net shot down the Syr­ian SU-22 around 7:00 pm as it “dropped bombs near SDF fight­ers” south of the town of Tabqa, the coali­tion said in a state­ment.

AP

A mis­sile is fired from city of Ker­man­shah in western Iran tar­get­ing the Is­lamic State in Syria.

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