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US-led coalition’s air force downs Syrian warplane near Raqqa

June 18, 23:55 UTC+3 BEIRUT

The Syrian warplane was on an anti-terrorist mission conducted by the Syrian army and self-defense force against Islamic State militants

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© AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

BEIRUT, June 18. /TASS/. The air force of the US-led coalition downed a Syrian warplane near the city of Raqqa in northern Syria, SANA news agency said on Sunday citing a statement of the Syrian army command.

According to SANA, the incident took place on Sunday afternoon in the Resafa neighborhood some 30 kilometers south of Raqqa. The Syrian warplane was on an anti-terrorist mission conducted by the Syrian army and self-defense force against Islamic State militants. Nothing is known about the pilot.

"The attack stresses coordination between the US and ISIS, and it reveals the evil intentions of the US in administrating terrorism and investing it to pass the US-Zionist project in the region," the statement said. "Such aggressions would not affect the Syrian Arab army in its determination to continue the fight against ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations and to restore security and stability to all Syrian territories."

The Syrian army is expanding the military operation south of the Euphrates and has already liberated from terrorists three villages located near the Atreya-Resafa-Raqqa highway. The land operation is backed by the Syrian armed force delivering strikes at the Islamic State base in Raqqa.

The Syrian army command has set a task of stopping traffic between Raqqa and Islamic State strongholds in the Syrian Desert. The Syrian army and self-defense forces have already liberated from terrorists an area of about 22,000 square kilometers south of the Euphrates and regained control of two oil fields south of Raqqa (520 kilometers away from Damascus).

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