MESOP TODAYS TOP OF THE AGENDA : U.S. Fighter Jet Shoots Down Syrian Plane International sources & reactions

A U.S. fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane on Sunday that the U.S.-led coalition against the self-proclaimed Islamic State accused of bombing allies, according to the Pentagon. The Syrian military said the plane’s pilot was killed and warned of “grave consequences” for the “flagrant aggression” (Middle East Eye); it also said the aircraft was carrying out an anti-Islamic State mission. The incident marked the fourth time in a month (WaPo) that the United States attacked pro-government forces in Syria. Also on Sunday, Iran announced it shot several medium-range ballistic missiles at alleged Islamic State positions in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province (Al Jazeera) in response to attacks in Tehran earlier this month that the militant group claimed. The missile launch was the first by the country outside Iranian territory in three decades.


“With the strike, the U.S. military made it clear it is now willing to target Syrian regime jets to protect the coalition of Kurdish and Arab fighters working with U.S. special-operation forces,” Dion Nissenbaum and Raja Abdulrahim write for the Wall Street Journal.

“The United States has lost a lot of leverage or lost opportunities to gain leverage on the conflict over past years. And we have not seized many in the last six months either,” Kimberly Kagan said in this CFR event.

“While the United States and other countries in the region, for example, talk about Iran as one of the major threats to the region, only ISIS can now claim to have taken the struggle directly to Iran and struck these dramatic blows in Tehran,” said Bruce Hoffman in a CFR interview.