The American fighter aircraft F/A-18E Super Hornet shot a Syrian fighter-bomber aircraft Su-22 in the south of Tabqah. The official representatives of the Syrian Armed Forces announced it. The headquarters of the International coalition led by the U.S. confirmed this fact.
There is no news about what happened to a pilot. This is the only information, which is confirmed by both sides of the conflict. Other facts are disagreed.
Two sides of the same post
According to the information of Syrian military resources, the accident happened after the afternoon on Sunday in the region of Ar-Rasafa, which is 30 km south away from Raqqa. The Syrian fighter-bomber participated in an operation against the terroristic group ISIS that is banned in Russia.
The reaction of Damascus was predictable: “This open and aggressive action gives us no doubt that there is coordination between the U.S. and ISIS. The U.S. use this terroristic group to accomplish an American- Zionist ploy in the region”.
Then, here is another promise that “such American attacks will not be able to affect the determination of the Syrian Army and its allies to carry on the war against ISIS groups, Jabhat al-Nusra (baaned in Russia), formations connecting with these group so as to restore security and stability on the whole territory of the republic”.
The U.S., from their side, explained their actions and said that ”at 18:43 of the local time, Syrian aircraft Su-22 dropped bombs near the post of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). And according to self-defense rules, it was slowly shot by the American fighter aircraft F/A-18E Super Hornet.
After this accident happened, the representatives of the International coalition got through to the Russian military, according to the American report, so as to “deescalate the situation and stop the attack”.
Moreover, the U.S. explained that they did not consider that the attack on the pro-governmental troops of Syria was the escalation of the conflict. For them, it is not a legal army of the legal government but it is “the force of the regime”. The spokesperson for the United States Department of State, Heather Nauert, said “ the coalition will protect itself as soon as the regime forces move towards to the positions of the coalition, which means a threat”.
Despite the attempt to explain directly the situation to the military, Russia regarded the attack on the Syrian aircraft, from a political side, as a new war action against South Arabia. At least, Senator Aleksey Pushkov, an influential Russian politician and political analyst, reacted this way. “Having shot the Syrian Su-22 over Raqqa, the U.S. accomplished a new war action against Syria. What kind of “defense”? Raqqa is a Syrian city, an American one?” he wrote on his social media page.
As far as Tsargrad knows from different military sources, the accident was taken more coolly there, however, with annoyance.
“There is no surprise that Super Hornet shot Su-22”, one of the military experts explained. “Su-22 is an export version of our aircraft Su-17. And Su-17 is a deep modification of Su-7 of 1960. It is a wonderful machine, a real working horse, but it cannot compete with Super Hornet, which is 25 years younger”.
The Russian military was not surprised and encouraged as well with the news that the U.S. directly interfered in the war against the government army and used this spot for it.
According to the resource of Tsargrad, Ar-Rasafa is a key region in the area of Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor. There is a key crossroad that opens a wide range of options in all southern Syria or control over rich oil fields to the correspondent side.
The government forces , accordingly, are using the situation of demoralization of ISIS in a region, which is west away from Raqqa, and cleaning this area from the ISIS forces that Tsargrad wrote about before. They are systematically extending the freed areas, particularly, they freed several populated spots along a strategically important territory Atraya-Raqqa that goes through Rasafa. On May 16, the Syrian Army returned Damascus control over the oil filed Al-Habari. Here, the Army reached the line of contact with the troops of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that are made up with mostly with the Kurds and are under the U.S. protection. There were several confrontations between two forces, and after them, the Kurds decided to stop their movement and let the Syrian fighters beat up ISIS.
According to military experts, it is obvious that America was not pleased with this situation. The Syrian control over the crossroad in Rasafa cut Raqqa from the South of Syria and deprived the troops of “caliphate” of the possibility to evacuate from Raqqa so as to enforce the position against Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor and stop American attempts to the south so as to cut Damascus from the Euphrates, from whole Eastern Syria with its huge oil fields.
They do everything that is possible so as to conquer more area in Syria and not to give it back to “the regime” in Damascus.
Did the U.S. reserve an area for them?
As we see, the U.S. really need the control over Rasafa but the Kurds do not need it (they easily moved away from it). “It is not so important to know in this situation against whom the Syrian aircraft acted – against ISIS or it showed the Kurds where they should not move to”, a military resource said to Tsargrad. “The U.S. had to show their presence there and their intention to control this spot on their own”.
In this case, as the military resource says, it is possible that the U.S. might attack the Syrian ground forces if they occupy Rasafa faster than the Kurds do. However, he shrugged his shoulders when answered the question if the Russian Aerospace Forces were ready to cover the Syrian forces. He only admitted that the Syrian aircraft fulfilled his task alone and did not have any connection with the Russian Aerospace Forces…
It is very interesting to see Iran’s behavior in this situation. It attacked “the terrorists, their command posts and supply posts in the region of Deir ez-Zor in the East of Syria” with medium-range missiles from the bases of Kurdistan and the province of Kermanshah. But this hint is clear – “we can do it”. But they can do it not only to ISIS terrorists but also to other enemies of Iran.
Washington announced itself their enemy by cancelling a “nuclear agreement” with Iran that could lift sanctions.
Therefore, the U.S. are creating obviously their own confrontation with all coalition fighting on the side of Damascus in Syria. And even they confront with Turkey, however, Ankara considers itself as the enemy of Bashar Assad. And even so called “spacer” that Tsargrad talked about before is becoming thinner. Today, it has become just one aircraft of the Syrian Air forces. And what will be tomorrow? While Syria is moving to important Rasafa, which is still under control ISIS not even the Kurds, Washington will start protecting “caliphate”.
By Aleksandr Tsyganov
Source: The Katehon