A U.S. fighter jet shot down a Syrian warplane on Sunday, marking an unprecedented new escalation in the conflict between the U.S. and its allies and the Assad regime in Syria. U.S. Central Command told Reuters that the plane was shot down in “collective self-defense of coalition partnered forces” after it had targeted U.S.-backed forces near the ISIS-held city of Raqqa. The Syrian army, meanwhile, claims the fighter jet was conducting a mission against ISIS militants. Either way, it’s the first time the U.S. has shot down a Syrian aircraft since the beginning of the country’s civil war in 2011, and the first time it has shot down a manned warplane anywhere in more than a decade.
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