The United State government has a habit of passing critical laws and making crucial foreign policy decisions when the American public is distracted, and Father’s Day 2017 was a perfect example, as the U.S. shot down a Syrian warplane on Sunday.
Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led international coalition, claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, in which it insisted that the warplane was only shot down because it was targeting the Syrian Democratic Forces near Raqqa.
“At 6:43pm, a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah and, in accordance with rules of engagement and collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces, was immediately shot down by a US F/A-18E Super Hornet.”
However, the Syrian military released a contrasting statement, claiming that its warplanes were targeting Islamic State militants in the countryside surrounding the group’s capital in the city of Raqqa.
“This attack comes at a time when the Syrian Arab army and its allies are advancing in the fight against ISIS terrorists who are being defeated in the Syrian desert in more ways than one.”
The statement also noted that the pilot of the plane is still missing. It went on to say that although the coalition acted out by shooting down their military’s warplane, the Syrian armed forces are still dedicated to defeating ISIS, and restoring the Syrian Arab Republic’s rule over Raqqa.
Al Masdar News reported that there were further clashes after members of the Syrian military “attempted to cross SDF front-lines in order to rescue their fallen pilot,” and were turned away by members of the U.S.-led coalition.
The missing pilot has been identified as Ali Fahd, an officer in the Syrian Air Force. Majd Fahd, a Damascus correspondent for Al Masdar News, spoke out on Twitter and said Fahd is his cousin, as well as a father of three children.
Ali…Your kids are waiting for you.. Please come back safe and very soon. pic.twitter.com/A23Spu4Il3
— Majd Fahd ?? (@Syria_Protector) June 18, 2017
The latest developments out of Raqqa serve as a sobering reminder that the United States is leading a coalition that appears to have no “red lines,” in its attempt to gain control of the region.
As The Free Thought Project has reported, Syrian officials have accused the U.S. of directly transporting at least 120 ISIS fighters out of Raqqa, days before the coalition began its siege on the city. There have also been multiple reports accusing the U.S. of using cluster bombs and white phosphorus in a barrage of airstrikes—both of which are illegal when used on residential areas.
While President Trump rages on Twitter about the accuracy of his approval rating, and the danger of “fake news,” the Trump administration has remained noticeably quiet on the reports coming out of Syria that paint the U.S. in a poor light. The mainstream’s media’s coverage has also been selective in nature, and while it may paint a simple picture of various factions that are all fighting for the elimination of ISIS, it is important to remember that not every side wants the same result.
The Syrian military wants ISIS out of Raqqa, so that the Syrian Arab Republic under President Bashar al-Assad can regain control of the region. But the U.S.-led coalition—which has blatantly pushed for the overthrow of Assad on numerous occasions—has yet to explicitly say that if the city is freed from ISIS control, the coalition will support the city’s return to the Syrian government.
By shooting down a Syrian aircraft, the United States is committing an act of war against the Syrian government that creates even more uncertainty about the future of the region the two entities are fighting over, and the staggering death toll that continues to increase at an alarming rate.