On Sunday, a Syrian government fighter jet was shot down by a U.S. aircraft hours after Syrian forces bombed U.S.-backed fighters in a village southwest of Raqqa, the Pentagon said.
This was the first time a U.S. jet downed a manned hostile aircraft in more than 10 years, The Washington Post reports, and the fourth time in a month that the U.S. military attacked Syrian loyalist forces. In a statement, the Syrian military said the jet was carrying out a mission against the Islamic State, and its pilot was killed. A spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, Col. John Thomas, scoffed at the claim that the aircraft was bombing ISIS, because the village of Ja'Din is controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition mostly comprised of Arab and Kurdish fighters, and ISIS hasn't recently been in the area. Thomas said the jet was warned to stand down, and U.S. forces in the area were not threatened directly.