The US has shot down a Syrian fighter jet. Apparently the downing of the plane took place in Raqqa province, but as usual there are discrepancies in the reports coming out. Press TV is saying that the Syrian plane was engaged in an anti-ISIS operation.
The Guardian, on the other hand, is saying that the Syrian plane “dropped bombs near US-backed fighters in Syria.”
RT is reporting as follows:
The US-led coalition has downed a government warplane in southern Syria, the Syrian army and coalition have announced in separate statements. The Syrian military added that the plane’s pilot is now missing.
According to the Syrian statement, the plane was carrying out operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in the countryside around Raqqa when it was targeted, leading to a crash and the loss of the pilot, who is currently missing.
Meanwhile, a reporter for the L.A. Times has posted a tweet that includes a press release from the US Coalition:
This would appear to be the latest attempt to partition Syria. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, seem well on their way to defeating ISIS in Raqqa. The Coaliton press release, pictured above, talks about a “show of force” aimed at stopping “the initial pro-regime advance” toward an SDF-controlled area, in this case the town of Ja’Din. This would tend to suggest that any future efforts by the Syrian Army to re-establish national sovereignty in this part of the country will be met with US airstrikes.
You can go here to see a map of the area in question. The map is a close-up of north-central Syria. If you click to enlarge, you will see the city of Raqqa in the northeast. Navigate south and west of there and you will come to the town of Ja’Din. The map shows Syrian government forces stationed nearby in the town of Ber Adad. According to a report by South Front, the government forces in Ber Adad are making an effort to advance to “the strategic town of Resafa,” which is also shown on the map, just to the southeast of Ja’Din.
The image below is a Google map showing the location of Resafa.
The US Coalition would seem to be well-placed to partition off a good portion of northern Syria–probably under the guise of establishing an independent Kurdish state. Keep in mind also, however, that the US has set up a military base at Al-Tanf, in the vicinity of the Syria-Iraq-Jordan border–a situation that theoretically could lead to a pretty thorough dismemberment of Syria, which would of course be a great delight to Israel.
And yet another US military base is now being set up in Tabqah, according to a report here. By my count, this will make the third US military base in Syria, the bases in Al-Tanf and Al-Zkuf comprising the other two. Here is what South Front is reporting on the new base at Tabqah:
The new base will be located in the military housing area, the Mohammed Fares school as well as the military and security buildings in the third district of the town. US forces reportedly intend to build a command center and residential buildings for its troops. According to opposition sources, USA wants to adopt the new base in Tabqah town as a long-term base in Syria.
How much are these new mlitary bases costing the US taxpayer at a time when the US debt stands at nearly $20 trillion? All for Israel.
By the way, for what it’s worth (no pun intended), the US debt hit the $19 trillion mark in February of 2016, roughly 14 months ago. According to the US debt clock, we are now at $19.9 trillion, and rapidly closing in on the $20 trillion milestone.
This shoot-down of a Syrian jet represents “yet another escalation,” as the L.A. Times reporter put it. What appears to be looming now is a de facto, if not a formal, partitioning of the country. By the way, South Front, citing “unconfirmed reports from Kurdish sources,” is also reporting on an agreement said to have been reached between the US and Kurdish forces, according to which US forces will be allowed to stay in Kurdish-held areas for the next 10 years in return for US military assistance.