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US downs Syrian fighter jet engaged in anti-Daesh operations

This file picture shows a Syrian fighter jet at a hangar in the al-Jarrah airbase in northern Syria.

A Syrian fighter plane engaged in operations against Daesh in Raqqah has been downed by the US-led coalition.

The plane crashed and the pilot’s whereabouts were still unknown, the Syrian army said in a Sunday statement.

The Syrian army’s general command stressed that the “flagrant aggression” highlights the US’s true stance against terrorism.

“The attack stresses coordination between the US and Daesh, and it reveals the evil intentions of the US in administrating terrorism and investing it to pass the US-Zionist project in the region,” it added. "This comes at a time when the Syrian army and its allies were making clear advances in fighting the Daesh terrorist group."

US army confirms downing Syrian jet

Following Syria’s announcement, the US military released a statement claiming that it had shot down the Syrian fighter plane "in collective self-defense of coalition-partnered forces" in Syria’s Tabqa.

"The Coalition 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," it said.

"The demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces toward Coalition and partner forces in Syria conducting legitimate counter-Daesh operations will not be tolerated," it added.

Earlier, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that clashes had erupted between Syrian government troops and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces in two villages located some 40 kilometers to the south of Raqqah.

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Different foreign-backed terrorist groups have been wreaking havoc in Syria since 2011. Over the past few months, Syrian forces have made sweeping gains against Takfiri elements, who have lately increased their acts of violence across the country following a series of defeats on the ground.

Daesh seized Raqqah in 2014, the same year when it started its campaign of terror in Syria. It then proceeded to capture large swathes of Syrian territory.

Earlier in the month, the SDF announced that it has entered the western regions of Daesh’s last stronghold in Syria, Raqqah.

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