Syrian Su-24s attempting to fly close to U.S. Special Forces in Syria get intercepted and “encouraged to leave” by F-22 Raptors

Aug 20 2016 - 61 Comments

Two Syrian Su-24 Fencer attempting to fly over a Kurdish-held area in northeastern Syria where U.S. SOF (Special Operations Forces) are operating, get intercepted by U.S. F-22 and encouraged to depart the airspace.

Twice in the last few days, Syrian jets performing air strikes close to where U.S. SOF are operating in northeastern Syria caused coalition aircraft to scramble.

On Aug. 18, U.S. jets were dispatched to intercept the Syrian attack planes that were attacking targets near Hasakah supporting regime forces fighting the Syrian Kurdish forces. About 300 U.S. military operate in the same area, training Kurdish forces who are fighting Daesh.

Syrian pilots did not respond to the radio calls of the Kurdish on the general emergency frequency nor did they acknowledge calls attempted by the coalition on the air safety channel used for communication with the Russian aircraft operating over Syria.

Anyway, by the time U.S. fighters reached the area, the Syrian planes had already left.

Following the first “close encounter” the Pentagon warned Assad regime to not fly or conduct raids in the area where the American SOF are operating. However, on Aug. 19, two Su-24 Fencers, attempted again to penetrate the airspace near Hasakah.

This time, the two Syrian Arab Air Force attack planes were met by American F-22 Raptors (most probably already operating in the same area providing Combat Air Patrol).

As reported by ABC, a U.S. official said the presence of American F-22 aircraft “encouraged the Syrian aircraft to depart the airspace without further incident. No weapons were fired by the coalition fighters.”

This is not the first time the F-22 presence deters foreign military aircraft from harassing U.S. forces.

In March 2013, few months after two Sukhoi Su-25 attack planes operated by the Pasdaran (informal name of the IRGC – the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution) attempted to shoot down an American MQ-1 flying a routine surveillance flight in international airspace the Pentagon decided to escort the drones involved in ISR (intelligence surveillance reconnaissance) with fighter aircraft, including the Raptors.

In one very well-known episode, F-22 stealth jets providing HVAAE (High Value Air Asset Escort) to a U.S. Predator flew under the Iranian F-4E Phantoms that had intercepted the drone then pulled up on their left wing and then called them and radioed a famous “you really ought to go home” that allegedly scared the Iranian pilots off saving the drone.

Image credit: U.S. Air Force

  • wonder if other SFs like UK Special Forces were there

    • Roland Lawrence

      oh they have been there for ages. Training people up mostly and supplying hard to get things that explode from Libya. Well there is that 60 tones of light weapons that went missing ;)

  • AlexisWolf

    I wonder if there’s any truth in reports of US military ‘advisors’ now being withdrawn from the area?

  • Do I understand correctly? US warplanes were in Syrian airspace without Syrian authorization?
    Those US warplanes ordered Syrian warplanes to leave Syrian airspace?

    • WHOHE

      Lol. Crazy world, eh? But that’s what you can do when you’re a true military superpawa.

    • TH3 FUTURE

      It’s the power of the U.S military

    • phuzz

      When you have the biggest stick, you get to do what you want.

    • Daniel Martin

      You’ve got it perfectly right!

    • Phil Verhey

      Somebody has to stop the civilians from being gassed, cluster & barrel bombed

    • AstroNautilus

      Now that they cannot produce false accusations to justify an invasion like they did in Iraq back in 2003, they simply don’t bother anymore and do whatever they want, anywhere..

  • AstroNautilus

    Syrian Air Force plane rightfully flying over Syrian territory forced to fly away by American fighter planes…because it was overflying USA troops, illegally (is there an UN resolution that allows foreign troops to enter Syrian borders without formal Assad permission?) deployed inside Syrian territory…funny isn’t it ?

  • Joao Alfaiate

    It might be worth mentioning that US air and ground forces are operating illegally in Syria and that Syria has a formal alliance with Russia. What possible US interests in Syria in anyway justify the risk of war with Russia? Destroying Iraq for Israel’s benefit is one thing but risking a nuclear war with Russia to please Israel’s partisans in the USA is quite something else. US interests first, not Israel’s.

    • TH3 FUTURE

      No real interest just trying to stop a dictator from gassing more of his people. Also we go where we want to fight and kill ISIS

      • Joao Alfaiate

        If we hadn’t been so stupid as to remove Saddam from power there would be no ISIS. If we’d have removed Assad, like Hillary and all the pro Israel neocons had wanted to, ISIS would be ruling from Damascus instead of ar-Raqqa. And Libya turned out real good too.

      • Bez

        More recycled claims from previous American wars while the US supports Islamists who actually gas Syrian people.

    • franciwzm

      Nuclear russian power sucks, and everybodyknows it: russians firstly

    • Russ Smith

      The US is trying to kill a common enemy of Syria, Russia and the US called ISIS.

      • Joao Alfaiate

        The US is trying to effect regime change in Syria for Israel’s benefit. Listen to ex Sec. of State Hillary Clinton:”The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad.”

        • Gio Pí

          Wikileaks is a covert Russian operation, littered with disinformation – typical KSB.

    • Roland Lawrence

      yeh but where is the nuclear fallout? It wont be landing on any billionaires lawn for sure. & so what about breaking the law, killing millions and displacing millions more to destabilise a region? I mean thats the whole fun of being super narcissistic surely? I mean look what happened to Lord Tony Blair… after the enquiry where he was found pretty much guilty of breaking UK laws, going against the UN, pretty much a agenda of genocide etc. Zero happened to him. Not even a slap on the wrist. In fact he’s richer then ever.

  • Tito

    “This is not the first time the F-22 presence deters foreign military aircraft from harassing U.S. forces.”
    Foreign…?? Syrian airplanes over Syrian territory?? Mind boggling …

    • Irony is Syria really isn’t Syria anymore…the borders and lines in the sands have shifted a bit. Syrian planes flying over newly Kurdish territory… Are then foreign planes :P

      • disqus_STXkrV9NGc

        Not if you look at internationally recognized borders. Also, this comes as a surprise, as the Kurds and the government have generally been on good terms during this conflict.

      • Bez

        No. There is no independent Kurdish state.

    • AstroNautilus

      Obviously a mistake…but Sigmund Freud would find it interesting, if you know what I mean.

    • Eric McCann

      “Foreign” as in “Not U.S. and not allied.”

  • disqus_STXkrV9NGc

    It’s pathetic that the Syrian government now needs permission to enter parts of its own airspace.

    • Russ Smith

      If it wasn’t in Civil war murdering their own people and letting ISIS control half their country they could have their airspace.

      • rats123

        They’re fighting the moderate terrorists the US has been training and funding.

      • Marco

        Sounds like US… Then I think US lost any airspace right over Baltimore and several other places.

      • Elvir Redzepovic

        Isis is created, armed and logisticly supported by your government. But don’t worry, every fascist empire has fallen and so will you too. Don’t moan when revenge comes and you get called “insurgents” for defending your home though.

      • Holztransistor

        It’s not exactly a civil war. The “rebels” and Daesh are mostly foreign soldiers of fortune. And the reason? Assad did not agree to build a gas pipeline from Qatar to Turkey (both US allies). Instead he wanted to build one from Iran to the Mediterranean sea. That decision was made in 2011 and this is exactly the year he became a “mass murderer” in western media. Before that, he was tolerated without much attention. He even helped the CIA to abduct and torture people.

        After all, this is another war about who gets what. It’s not about human rights, it’s about mining rights.

        Syria is the only secular state in that region. Christians could live there without fear of being murdered for their beliefs. Do you think it will change for the better with Daesh or “moderate terrorists” in power and Assad being gone?

        • disqus_STXkrV9NGc

          I suggest you not idealize pre-war Syria too much. I should know, I lived there for over a decade. Also, the Syrian opposition is very much Syrian. No parallels can be made between ISIS and the armed opposition. The two have never cooperated and are ideologically oceans apart.

          • rats123

            I suggest you stop believing everything you see on BBC, CNN and FOX news:

            • disqus_STXkrV9NGc

              Did you miss the part where I said I lived in Syria? I experienced first hand the uprising since its beginning in March 2011. I know people still living there. Now what’s more believable, this, or RT and the Russian defense ministry?

        • I think your definition of “secular” state is really quite a bit off. The only one in there is Israel. Anything else is an islamic theocracy.

  • Frederic Ballangrin

    So, without the authorisation of the Syrian government, without an official mission of UN, without any authorisation and legitimity, the USA has the legitim right to destroy syrian aircraft, in the syrian air space ….

    • Russ Smith

      If the aircraft is attacking US assets or allied personnel. Yes! It is no surprise the Syrians know we are there because we are helping them fight ISIS. But the Russians and Syrians like to attack the Kurds and the Syrian resistance under the guise of attacking ISIS.

      • rats123

        Russia is not attacking Kurds. Kurds are the allies here.

      • Frederic Ballangrin

        No, the kurdes are fighting in this area because they considerate this one as their future country, and their want to create a new country, the Syrian Kurdistan. That’s why the US government is “helping” the kurdes : to burst the Syrian nation and not to fight Ibis. The US government really don’t care about ISIS, they only want to burst the country and to eliminate the Syrian government with the same strategy : to eliminate a government not aligned to the US plan for this part of the world, destroy the country (Iraq, Libya, Yemen, etc…)
        So, it’s not to Syria to adapt to the US plan, it’s the US government and troops to leave the area

    • veej7485

      Assad gasses his own people…war crime.

    • Roland Lawrence

      Totally. And if you dont agree you are either a war criminal or terrorist. Nice to see troops on the ground too, after all that rejection in the house for troops, in via the back door! Boom, never even got a headline. Thats how we roll ;)

  • marco

    Sounds mounted up. The number of flyable Syrian Su-24s is reduced to few units according to different sources closely monitoring SyAAF activities and units. I don’t see them flying their precious remaining Su-24s so far from vital interests… and in pair. That is something that simply does not belong to SyAAF as of 2016.

    • veej7485

      what…the russians did it a few weeks back, why would this be any different? Why wouldn’t they be using thier SU24s… their country is under attack and on the verge of collapse? When should they use them?

      • Marco

        Closer to Coastal areas they do, not in a remote village far east

    • Phil Verhey

      Russua is flyin & maintaining the same jets in syria… syria would have no issues getting their jets fixed

  • Mongee Phase

    “big hawg” is the name. Taking over your country the game.

    Who’s next?

    • Bez

      Supporting Islamist extremist groups is the American way of doing it.

  • teila

    “***As reported by ABC***, a U.S. official said the presence of American F-22 aircraft “encouraged the Syrian aircraft to depart the airspace without further incident. No weapons were fired by the coalition fighters.””

    If I had 2cents for every time the media horribly, inaccurately describes what the military is doing, I could easily buy the winter home that I want in Telluride Colorado. I believe a 2-year-old single child saying ‘he didn’t spill the juice’ before I believe the media reporting on something they know nothing about. (eye roll)

    • sferrin

      “If I had 2cents for every time the media horribly, inaccurately describes what the military is doing,”

      They do that with EVERYTHING. That’s what is truly scary.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Mess with the best, Die like the rest

  • Guest65

    The US was allowed to conduct operations in Stria by the Assad regime in 2014.

  • Testi Colm

    Very very nice the F22 image.