A U.S. warplane shoots down a Syrian army jet in the southern Raqqa countryside in the first such incident since the start of the conflict in 2011. Grace Lee reports.
A U.S. Hornet warplane shooting a Syrian fighter jet out of the sky on Sunday (June 18). Washington says it was acting in self-defence and that the Syrian plane had dropped bombs near U.S. backed-forces, while Damascus says it was downed while flying a mission against Islamic State militants. It's the first time a Syrian jet has been hit by the U.S. since the start of the conflict in 2011. The Syrian army calling it an attempt to undermine its efforts as the only effective force in fighting terrorism across in the country. The U.S.-led coalition has been aggressively ramping up its aerial bombing campaign in Syria, recently capturing several districts near Raqqa from militants. Officials tell Reuters skirmishes have been breaking out between the Syrian army and U.S. backed forces around Raqqa, as both sides try to recapture turf from Islamic State. Warplanes from the the U.S.-led coalition have also struck pro-government forces several times in recent weeks. Washington also describes those strikes as self defence.