A U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet flying from USS George H.W. Bush shot down a Syrian regime SU-22 ground attack aircraft near Raqqa, Syria on June 18.
The Syrian jet was shot down after it dropped bombs near fighters in the Syrian Democratic Forces-held town of Ja’Din, South of Tabqah.
According to a U.S. Central Command release, Pro-Syrian regime forces attacked the town of Ja’Din, at approximately 4:30 p.m., wounding a number of SDF fighters and driving the SDF from the town.
Responding to the attack, coalition aircraft conducted a show of force and stopped the initial pro-regime advance toward the SDF-controlled town.
Russian forces operating in Syria were contacted by telephone via an established ‘de-confliction line’ to de-escalate the situation and stop the firing, CENTCOM further noted.
Some two hours after the initial attack, however, a Syrian regime SU-22 dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah and, “in accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of Coalition partnered forces,” was immediately shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet.
According to reports, this is the first U.S. military air-to-air kill since 1999 when an F-16CJ Fighting Falcon shot down a Serbian Mikoyan MiG-29 Fulcrum.