US Fighter Jet Shoots Down Syrian Warplane
A new incident sparks tension between the U.S. and Russia after a Syrian warplane was shot down by a U.S. fighter jet. The F-18 was launched from a nearby carrier and locked onto a Syrian jet shortly after it dropped bombs on U.S. backed rebel forces fighting ISIS. This was the first U.S. air-to-air shoot down in nearly 20 years. The U.S. warned Syrians through a Russian hotline warning them to halt their assault on the rebel forces.
The U.S. military stated it was a justified shoot down as part of the collective self-defense of coalition partnered forces. Russia responds by calling it an act of aggression by the United States and a direct breach of International Law. Russia continued by stating that they will consider U.S. jets as targets and will not let this incident go unforgotten. Asked to respond, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the United States will protect its interests in Syria and will “do what we can” to keep open lines of communication with Russia and Syria. “We’ve gotta do what we can to work with partners and we’re going to continue to keep an open line of communication with the Russians,” Spicer said at an off-camera press briefing Monday.
Spicer adds that the U.S. wants to de-escalate the situation in Syria “but will always preserve the right of self-defense.”