PENTAGON: US pilots in Syria will defend themselves against any attacks by Russian jets

Hawaii Intelligence Digest, 19 June 2017, 20:10 hrs, UTC, Post #233.


Accessed on 19 June 2017, 20:10 hrs, UTC.

Reporter:  Jamie McIntyre (“Washington Examiner”).

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Things are getting a bit testy in Western Syria following the downing of a Syrian SU-22 jet by a F/A-18-E fighter from a U.S. carrier group.  According to U.S. Defense Department officials, the SU-22 was shot down after the aircraft attacked Syrian Democratic Forces battling Islamic State fighters in an area controlled by the Russian military.  U.S. officials said “U.S. pilots in Syria will defend themselves against any attacks by Russian jets.”

The Russian Ministry of Defense wasn’t impressed by the statement, noting that it “will treat U.S. or coalition aircraft as targets if they fly over areas in western Syria controlled by Russians.”

According to correspondent Jamie McIntyre, the warning was clear:

‘The statement was meant as a warning”, said Viktor Ozerov, a member of the Russian parliament, described the Defense Ministry’s statement as a warning.

A Russian Su-24 jetA Russian Su-24 jet Reuters/Shamil Zhumatov

“I’m sure that because of this neither the US nor anyone else will take any actions to threaten our aircraft,” he said, according to state-owned RIA Novosti news agency. “That’s why there’s no threat of direct confrontation between Russia and American aircraft.”

“Russia, beyond making the threat to treat US or coalition aircraft as targets, also said its “deconfliction” line with the US has been shut down. The line was established so US and Russian forces could avoid bombing each other as they fight ISIS.”


The rhetoric over the seemingly endless Syrian War has inched up a notch.  It’s just a matter of time before Russian and U.S. aircraft tangle over Syria.  This war could get a lot worse at any time.

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Opinions expressed in this blog are mine unless otherwise stated.

Until next time,

Russell Roberts

Hawaii Intelligence Digest

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