Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Global Impact: IS Downs Syrian Jet in Raqqa, 250 Miles NE of Damascus

According to Reuters, Islamic State (IS) fighters shot down a Syrian warplane using anti-aircraft guns on Tuesday (September 16), the first time the group has downed a Syrian jet since declaring its cross-border caliphate in June, a group monitoring the civil war said.
The Syrian jet came down outside IS' stronghold of Raqqa, 400 kilometers (250 miles) northeast of Damascus, during air strikes on territory controlled by the group, a resident said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group which gathers information from a network of activists on the ground, reported five air raids on Raqqa on Tuesday. Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the organization, cited sources close to IS as saying the jet had been shot down.
US President Barack Obama last week authorized air strikes against IS in Syria, potentially widening action against a group already being targeted by US air strikes in Iraq.
COMMENT: The Syrian Air Force has been bombing IS-controlled territory in the provinces of Raqqa and Deir al-Zor on a near-daily basis since the group seized the Iraqi city of Mosul in June.
Syria has offered to join a coalition the US is assembling to fight IS, but Western governments see President Bashar al-Assad as part of the problem and have ruled out the idea of such a liaison. 

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