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U.S. Scrambles Jets To Protect U.S. SpecOps Forces From Syrian Bombing

August 19, 2016

United States fighters scrambled Thursday into Northeastern Syria after Syrian aircraft dropped bombs near United States special operations ground forces, a Pentagon official said Friday.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters that the United States aircraft reached the area around the city of Hasaka as the two Syrian SU-24s made by Russia were leaving the area. Coalition special operations forces were in the area where the Syrian aircraft were conducting strikes. Pentagon officials said that the Syrian aircraft would risk an attack if they returned.

Additional combat air patrols were also sent to the area to protect the forces on the ground.

“This is very unusual, we have not seen the regime take this kind of action against YPG (Syrian Kurdish fighters) before,” Davis said.

He added that no troops were injured in the bombings.

“The Syrian regime would be well advised not to interfere with coalition forces or our partners,” he said. “We do have the right of self-defense.”

Russia was contacted immediately after the bombings through a channel used for air safety where they said the bombings were not carried out by their fighters.

Davis said that the Russians were told to tell the Syrian government that U.S. aircraft would defend its troops if they were once again threatened.