USAF General Defends Strikes Against Pro-Syrian Gov't Forces
US Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles Corcoran said that incidents that saw the US-led coalition forces attacking Syrian government and pro-government forces were an act of self-defense.
Incidents that saw the US-led coalition forces attacking Syrian government and pro-government forces were an act of self-defense, US Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles Corcoran said.
"We're here to fight IS [Islamic State terrorist group], but we're going to protect our forces from Syrian pro-regime entities… In all three cases, it was self-defense.
If you're shooting at U.S. forces, we'll self-defend," Corcoran said in an interview with the Military.com media outlet published Monday.
On June 8, a US-led coalition conducted strikes against pro-Syrian government forces within a deconfliction zone near the Syrian south-eastern village of At Tanf, destroying pickup trucks with weapons and a drone, as they allegedly posed a threat to US-led coalition forces.
On June 18, a US jet shot down a Syrian Su-22 fighter-bomber near the city of Tabqah. According to the US-led coalition, the Syrian jet attacked Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) positions.
The Syrian Army command, in return, stated the downed Su-22 was involved in operations against Daesh and accused the US-led coalition of coordinating strikes with the terrorists.
Following the incident, the Russian Defense Ministry halted its cooperation with the United States that had been stipulated by a Memorandum of Understanding on flight safety in Syrian airspace, announcing that any airborne objects west of the Euphrates River will be tracked by Russian ground and air defenses as targets.
On June 20, a US F-15 fighter jet shot down an Iranian-made drone near At Tanf after it was assessed as posing a threat to coalition forces.