The Syrian Air Force were in the air again Saturday over the flashpoint northeastern city of Hasakeh, despite a US warning against new strikes that might endanger its military advisers.

In another escalation of the five-year war, government planes this week bombarded positions held by US-backed Kurdish forces in the city fighting the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.

The unprecedented strikes prompted the US-led coalition to scramble aircraft to protect its special operations forces helping the Kurdish fighters, warning the regime not to put the advisers on the ground at risk.

It was apparently the first time the coalition scrambled jets in response to regime action, and possibly the closest call yet in terms of Syrian forces wounding American or coalition advisers.

Throughout the night and into Saturday morning, regime warplanes took to the skies above Hasakeh again, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based monitoring group.

It was not immediately clear whether the aircraft had carried out any bombing runs as there were heavy artillery exchanges on the ground.

Deadly clashes erupted between pro-government militia and the US-backed Kurdish forces on Wednesday.

The Observatory said there had been no let-up in the fighting, which has left 41 people dead, 25 of them civilians, including ten children.

“There were heavy clashes, artillery fire and rocket attacks throughout the night and ongoing in the morning,” Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

Around two-thirds of Hasakeh is controlled by Kurdish forces, while the rest is held by pro-government militia.

The government and Kurdish forces share a common enemy in IS, which controls most of the Euphrates valley to the south, but there have been tensions between them in Hasakeh that have sometimes led to clashes.

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– ‘Right of self-defence’ –

Thursday’s government raids were the first time the regime bombarded Kurdish positions from the air.

As soon as the strikes began, Kurdish ground forces unsuccessfully tried to hail the pilots via radio.

US forces then contacted Russia, which has been bombing parts of Syria for nearly a year in support of President Bashar al-Assad, but Russian military officials said the planes were Syrian.

Washington’s decision to scramble its fighter jets “was done as a measure to protect coalition forces,” Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said.

“We will ensure their safety and the Syrian regime would be well-advised not to do things that place them at risk… We view instances that place the coalition at risk with the utmost seriousness and we do have the inherent right of self-defence.”

But the Pentagon warning appeared to fall on deaf ears.

Two Syrian aircraft attempted to fly to the area again on Friday, but left “without further incident” after meeting coalition aircraft, a US defence official said in a statement.

“No weapons were fired by the coalition fighters.”

Davis said no coalition injuries were reported in Thursday’s strike by two Syrian SU-24s, and US advisers were moved to a safe location.

The coalition is now conducting additional combat air patrols in the region, he added.

– Air strikes ‘a message’ –

A Syrian military statement said the army had taken the “appropriate response” after Kurdish forces attacked Hasakeh.

The Observatory said thousands of inhabitants had begun to flee the city, where bread was running out and electricity has been cut.

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A government source in Hasakeh told AFP that the air strikes were “a message to the Kurds that they should stop this sort of demand,” after Kurds called for the dissolution of a pro-regime militia.

Washington regards the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) as the most effective fighting force against IS in Syria and has provided them with air support as well as the military advisers.

US special operations forces were based around six kilometres (nearly four miles) north of Hasakeh and reinforcements arrived Friday “from inside and outside Syria, accompanied by military helicopters”, Abdel Rahman said.

 

AFP

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44 Comments
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Markus Gelau
Markus Gelau
2016-08-20 13:08

SYRIAN jets may fly over every SYRIAN city they like

ErikWar19
ErikWar19
2016-08-20 15:43
Reply to  Markus Gelau

like aleppo bombiing civilians?
SYRIAN goverment f**k about every SYRIAN human right they dislike

Unknown
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted
Unknown
2016-08-20 16:31
Reply to  ErikWar19

Blow it out your a*s if you think America gives a f**k for every Syrian Christian or Muslim. You don’t speak for them

Mario Baroni
Mario Baroni
2016-08-20 16:48
Reply to  ErikWar19

Yeah we should support Kurdish drug-dealers just like we -EU – did with this mad jihadi groups 5 years ago.
Now they are blowing up European cities, so what is next – Kurdish gangs figthing for share on streets?
It is `ucking wrong approach, just like in Libya..

Dr. James Padgett
Regular
Upvoted
Commenter
Dr. James Padgett
2016-08-20 23:23
Reply to  ErikWar19

Erik, to make such a statement shows what a naive person you are concerning what’s been going on in Syria for the last 5 years.

mookins
Newbie
Commenter
mookins
2016-08-20 23:29
Reply to  ErikWar19

‘Bombing civilians’ would be carpet-bombing a city- you know, ‘shock and awe’ like we do. SAA strikes INDIVIDUAL BUILDINGS. Civilization was INVENTED in that part of the world.

Joe Carroll
Joe Carroll
2016-08-20 13:14

it’s sovereign Syrian territory, it’s the US who are there illegally

Daeshbags Sux
Daeshbags Sux
2016-08-20 14:42
Reply to  Joe Carroll

Now it’s Rojava, baby! It’s all about Assad behaviour to end with Rojava being an autonomous region of a federal state or being an independent country.

Unknown
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted
Unknown
2016-08-20 16:35
Reply to  Daeshbags Sux

No such thing as Rojava. It is not only Syrian land but the Kurdish population is smaller in Syria than in Iraq. Btw seeing how you have a hatred towards Islam in general, and see yourself as a Christian, has it ever occured to you that those Syrian forces there are predominantly Christian and the Kurdish forces are of the Islamic faith? Sure the latter isn’t ISIS but they are still Muslim. Not to mention those Kurdish forces have a “Kurdistan uber alles” mentality (and the Christians there are ubermensch). Some Christian you must be.

est338lapua
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est338lapua
2016-08-20 17:48
Reply to  Daeshbags Sux

Fck yur fcking T urds and their Biji T urdistan , the place is called Al Hasakah and is part of Syria. If the T urds decided to be US Zionist puppets it is their responsibility and they will pay dearly

andy
andy
2016-08-20 13:16

Super power,your warning have no value,the Putin BEAR EATING LIKE FISH

Daeshbags Sux
Daeshbags Sux
2016-08-20 14:44
Reply to  andy

Putin is backing the YPG too, russians will stay neutral.

Unknown
Regular
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Upvoted
Unknown
2016-08-20 16:36
Reply to  Daeshbags Sux

If that was true, they woulda stayed out. Try again.

Theo
Theo
2016-08-20 17:31
Reply to  Daeshbags Sux

Nonsense! Kurds trying to storm SAA from airport so US can use it – why in earth would Russia support that?

Bleipriester
Bleipriester
2016-08-20 13:28

“the regime, the regime”. What was in the tea? captagon?

Bleipriester
Bleipriester
2016-08-20 13:29

“the regime”. What was in the tea? captagon?

Audrieau
Audrieau
2016-08-20 13:32

Syrian government, not Syrian regime. They are a legitimate government and should be treated with the same respect any sovereign nation.

Daeshbags Sux
Daeshbags Sux
2016-08-20 14:45
Reply to  Audrieau

I agree with you.

ErikWar19
ErikWar19
2016-08-20 15:45
Reply to  Audrieau

so there were votes in rebel held territory in syria to legitimate hassad goverment? its not a regime, its problably a miltar-dictatorship…thats the f*****g reality in syria.

Unknown
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted
Unknown
2016-08-20 16:38
Reply to  ErikWar19

Blow up Saudi rat.

Audrieau
Audrieau
2016-08-20 13:35

Syrian government, not Syrian regime. They are a legitimate government and should be treated with the same respect any other sovereign nation.

Shima Dwan
Shima Dwan
2016-08-20 13:15

You can do it ..Zoltan Dani

SaaSupporter
SaaSupporter
2016-08-20 16:01
Reply to  Shima Dwan

Very true…this hero and his group are still in good shape and ready

Miroslav Golubovic
Miroslav Golubovic
2016-08-20 16:19
Reply to  Shima Dwan

Serbian army 1999.

CRF
CRF
2016-08-20 13:49

S400!

Daeshbags Sux
Daeshbags Sux
2016-08-20 15:11
Reply to  CRF

S-400 doesn’t belong to Assad. Let’s be clear : Russian don’t want a war with the US, US don’t want a war with the russians. And they won’t give shitlamists what they dream of… BTW, 15% of the strikes of the coalition are made by the frenchs and although he didn’t bought S-400, Gaddafi had bought the same radars the S-400 uses… Rafales flew just over these radars without even being noticed… Active cancellation works better than passive stealth, you know… US have a different method : they had an EA-6B Prowler and now an EA-18G Growler. It’s more in… Read more »

Unknown
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted
Unknown
2016-08-20 16:38
Reply to  Daeshbags Sux

You think US dont want war with Moscow? Ask Hillary that one. She may disagree with you should she win.

stigmata
stigmata
2016-08-20 13:34

us warning? lol.. its Syria..its not US

Daeshbags Sux
Daeshbags Sux
2016-08-20 14:52
Reply to  stigmata

Not anymore : Syrian government didn’t moved a little finger when Da’ish attacked the kurds, except two little enclaves, Syrian govt doesn’t rules any place in syrian Kurdistan, they have published their constitution, now children are learning kurdish in schools (and english too), the region is totally autonomus… Now, it’ll all depend on how things evolute if Rojava still sticks to Syria or divorces…

SaaSupporter
SaaSupporter
2016-08-20 16:07
Reply to  Daeshbags Sux

I have nothing against the Kurds but this is Syria my friend. Unless they want what is coming to American backed Kosovo’s Albenians they should respect the people who welcomed them in the first place.

Unknown
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted
Unknown
2016-08-20 16:38
Reply to  Daeshbags Sux

l***o blow it out your a*s

Theo
Theo
2016-08-20 17:37
Reply to  Daeshbags Sux

Kurds wouldnt be there, on the first place, if Assad (father) havent give them refuge when Turkey have expelled them.

Just like when Iranian Shah Reza Pahlavi (with the blessing of US) did same. Also when Saddam did same in Iraqi.

So in that times Kurds were saying they will never forget Syrian hospitality. But I guess their word can not be trust?

And if we start to talk about sunni-extreem jihadi groups that are attacking SE Aleppo city in this very moment, siding with Nusra and Co that all story gets another dimension…

ziomalo
ziomalo
2016-08-20 13:56

it is pathetic how syria tolerate us planes on syria skyes. just shoot them down ffs!

Gaïndé
Newbie
Gaïndé
2016-08-20 13:58

La prétendue coalition est une organisation mafieuse sans aucune légitimité et doit être traitée comme telle , les kurdes ont toujours été des traîtres et le prouvent une fois de plus, je sens qu’ils vont se trouver dans un étau mortel sous peu, car l’ère de la dictature mondiale yankee arrive à son terme, ils vont se faire éjecter du moyen orient au profit de l’axe de la résistance. La tyrannie oxydentale connaitra le sort de toute les tyrannies, le feu , la ruine et l’oubli.

Daeshbags Sux
Daeshbags Sux
2016-08-20 14:16

“Two Syrian aircraft attempted to fly to the area again on Friday, but left “without further incident” after meeting coalition aircraft, a US defence official said in a statement.
“No weapons were fired by the coalition fighters.””
Hopefully SyAAF pilots renounced to confront…

BraveNewWorld
BraveNewWorld
2016-08-20 15:40

if I am reading the story right. The US just setup a no fly zone and Syria and it’s partners just folded.

Grandioso Hameed
Grandioso Hameed
2016-08-20 14:56

Syria needn’t get any permission to fly over its own territory and to destroy enemy targets in the country.

Syed Zafar Iqbal Jafri
Syed Zafar Iqbal Jafri
2016-08-20 15:16

Great going by Syrian Arab army kill American terrorists

Christian Strijbos
Christian Strijbos
2016-08-20 16:18

Is this how the US invites itself into syria? Usin kurds as their wildcard

.
.
2016-08-20 16:13

So this is the American terrorist ?

Hanna Elvira
Hanna Elvira
2016-08-20 23:07

Why is Al-Masdar News using the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as their source? Given that SOHR is run by a one man show, Rami Abdel Rahman, who is a rebel supporter, reporting out of his two bedroom flat in Coventry, England?

Myrisa
Myrisa
2016-08-21 00:36

There is no ISIS in Hassakeh. ¿What were the US advisors against ISIS doing there?

Simon Gunson
Member
Regular
Commenter
Upvoted
Simon Gunson
2016-08-22 02:03

Syria has been invaded by a proxy army made up of mercenary extremists, discretely funded, armed & trained by the United States, Saudi Arabia & Qatar. Syria is a sovereign nation and entitled to defend its territorial integrity. The United States was never invited to plant boots on Syrian soil. US special forces are inside Syria as foreign invaders without any UN mandate. US special forces are acting against both Syrian Iranian & Turkish interests by promoting a new Kurdish insurgency. Thanks to Russia having a leader with the courage of his convictions, United States can no longer trample smaller… Read more »

DanSol
DanSol
2016-08-20 13:12

@OIRSpox A precision strike could easily solve the problem in #Damascus