Coalition jets scrambled to defend US forces from Syrian bombing

By REUTERS
August 20, 2016 07:31

WASHINGTON - A US-led coalition sent aircraft into northeastern Syria on Thursday in a "very unusual" move to protect American special operation ground forces from attacks by Syrian government jets, a Pentagon official said on Friday.

Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis told reporters the coalition aircraft reached the area around the city of Hasaka as the two Syrian SU-24s were leaving, and the US special operation forces were in the area where the strikes were taking place. He said the Syrian planes did not respond to efforts by ground forces to contact them.

Davis said he was not aware of any other instances where coalition aircraft had been scrambled to respond to Syrian government bombing.

"This is very unusual, we have not seen the regime take this kind of action against YPG before," Davis said, using an acronym for the Syrian Kurdish fighters.


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