US shoots down Syrian plane
A Syrian warplane was shot down by American jets after it bombed positions held by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces. The Su22 was shot down June 18 south of Tabqah, a strategic town less than 30 miles from the ISIS capital in Raqqa. The confrontation took place following clashes between SDF and regime forces in a nearby village. US officials say that the aircraft ignored multiple warnings by US fighters, and that efforts to use a “de-confliction hotline” failed. Russia has since announced it would suspend the hotline and track all aircraft west of the Euphrates as “air targets.” It is the first time a US fighter has shot down a manned aircraft since 1999, and America’s most overt confrontation with the Assad regime since a massive cruise missile strike in April.