US Pilots Detail Confronting Syrian Warplanes in Syrian Airspace

'We Made Our Point,' General Insists

A pair of US fighter pilots have detailed the “tense” encounter with Syrian combat jets in Syrian airspace last week, an incident which was tense primarily because they were in a country that hasn’t approved of their presence hassling military aircraft that actually belong there.

I followed him around for all three of his loops,” one of the pilots reported, adding “he didn’t appear to have any idea I was there.” The pilots, added they were in “perfect position” to shoot down the apparently unaware Syrians, and just needed orders to do so.

The order to shoot the Syrian planes down never came, because the planes appeared to just be flying through the area. The US has since warned the Syrian planes to stay out of that part of Syria, though they insist this is not a “no-fly zone.”

While it’s still not clear that the Syrian pilots ever knew they were being “confronted” militarily, Brig. Gen. Charles Corcoran insisted that the fact that the Syrian planes left the area proved “we made our point.”

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.