Pentagon Claims ‘Showdown’ With Russian Jets in Syrian Skies

'Dramatic' Confrontation Reported Amid Last Week's Bombings

Last week’s Russian bombings against a US-backed Syrian rebel factions saw what US officials are describing as a “dramatic showdown” between US F/A-18 fighters and Russian Su-34s, as the US planes scrambled to try to chase the Russians away from a rebel base.

No fighting actually took place between the two sides. The Russian planes moved out of the area when the US planes arrived, but returned after the US planes left to refuel, and bombing the rebel garrison that the US was trying to protect.

US officials are presenting the strike as “deliberately provocative,” but Russia has insisted in the US never gave them the coordinates of the moderate rebels they wanted them to stay away from. Negotiations since the incident have netting some pledges of increased cooperation.

Both ISIS and the Nusra Front have been active in the area around Tanf, where the incident occurred, and Russian officials say they were under the impression that the rebels they struck were affiliated with the Nusra Front.

The US has disputed the Russian claims, but at the same time they have urged the Russians not to launch airstrikes against any Nusra targets anywhere in Syria, citing their close ties to the rebel factions the US are supporting.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Jim Callahan

    “Moderate” terrorists …

  • Andrew_Nichols

    Nusra = Al Quaeda. How Orwellian can you get?

  • Nkosinathi

    America is just terrorist state itself nothing else

  • Billy

    Great, we’re are spending billions of dollars to pursue regime change in Syria, another country on the opposite side of planet earth. In the process we are preventing Russia from fighting terrorist groups, we are are risking a war with Russia, we are risking the lives of Americans, we are running absurd federal deficits to fund this, Americans are having their civil rights stripped from them because of the treat from the very terrorists that our officials prevent Russia from confronting, and if we do remove Assad we will spend trillions more in the Middle East to react to the chaos that it will unleash. This is utter stupidity, if not out right corruption.

    • Pivara

      War with Russia, hyperbole much?

  • plamenpetkov

    But the Americans admitted themselves yesterday less than 100 rebels were trained by them. So yet again the Americans contradict themselves by lying.

  • Jones

    So, Al-Qaida now has an Air Force.

    Anyone remember back in the days when we were told that Al-Qaida was such a terrible enemy that we had to surrender all our rights and liberties in order to defeat them? Can we have them back now?

  • Don

    Russia doesn’t want any sky fairy blessings. They’re grown ups.

    • Yes, because the Russian Orthodox Church only has 150 million members, including Vladimir Putin.

      • JP McEvoy

        There’s no atheists in Russia.. Stalin had them all shot.

        God bless Joe!

  • desertspeaks

    The ONLY foreign military legally in Syria is Russia.. all others are in Syria in violation of several treaties, international law and the laws of nations and are committing acts of war against Syria!