Meanwhile, the US confirmed that it had scrambled jet fighters on Thursday, in its first intervention against regime aerial operations.A Pentagon spokesman said the fighters were sent because two Russian-made Su-24 warplanes were threatening attacks near a “small number” of US special operations advisors working with Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State.
The US also called the Russian military on a safety of flight hotline, and were told that the warplanes were not Russian-piloted.
“We will ensure [US troops’] safety and the Syrian regime would be well advised not to do things that would place them at risk,” the spokesman said.While there have been recurrent clashes in Hasakah, where control has been divided since 2013, this is the most serious episode. The fighting began on Wednesday, with each side blaming the other for attacks on checkpoints. A ceasefire on Wednesday night quickly collapsed.Regime supporters are now speaking of an “all-out war”, while the Kurdish militia YPG has said of the Syrian Air Force’s attacks, “Every hand spattered with the blood of our people will be held to account through all possible and available means.”