US, Russian Warplanes "Clash" Over Syria

Tyler Durden's picture

While the focus on the Islamic State has shifted in recent months to the terrorist organization's offshore activities, including ISIS-inspired terrorist activites in both the US and Europe, the war above the Islamic State continues, perhaps nowhere more so than in the skies over the controlled territory in Syria and Iraq, between US and Russian air forces. As the LA Times reported last week, Russian warplanes hit Pentagon-backed Syrian fighters with a barrage of airstrikes earlier this week, allegedly disregarding several warnings from U.S. commanders "in what American military officials called the most provocative act since Moscow’s air campaign in Syria began last year."

The strikes hit a base near the Jordanian border, far from areas where the Russians were previously active, and targeted U.S.-backed forces battling the Islamic State militants. These latest strikes occurred on the other side of the country from the usual Russian operations, around Tanf, a town near where the borders of Jordan, Iraq, and Syria meet. The Russian strike hit a small rebel base for staging forces and equipment in a desolate, unpopulated area near the border. About 180 rebels were there as part of the Pentagon's program to train and equip fighters against Islamic State. When the first strikes hit, the rebels called a U.S. command center in Qatar, where the Pentagon orchestrates the daily air war against Islamic State.

As Moon of Alabama adds, the U.S. jets came and the Russian jets went away. The U.S. jets left to refuel, the Russian jets came back and hit again. Allegedly two U.S. proxy fighters were killed and 18 were wounded.

However there was appears to be more to this latest brush up between US and Russian warplanes. According to The Daily Beast, U.S. and Russian fighter jets "clashed" bloodlessly in the air over Syria on June 16 as the American pilots tried and failed to stop the Russians from bombing U.S.-backed rebels in southern Syria near the border with Jordan.

The aerial close encounter underscores just how chaotic Syria’s skies have become as Russia and the U.S.-led coalition work at cross-purposes, each dropping bombs in support of separate factions in the five-year-old civil war. 


The near-clash also highlights the escalating risk of American and Russian forces actually coming to blows over Syria, potentially sparking a much wider conflict between the world’s leading nuclear powers.

To be sure, this was predictable and as we pointed out last September when we first reported the arrival of US air support in Syria, we speculated that it was only a matter of time before there is an "incident" between the two powerful "air support groups." This appears to have been the first such "close encounter", ignoring last November's dramatic incident in which the F-16 of NATO member Turkey downed a Russian Su-34 allegedly flying over Turkish airspace.

As the Beast adds, the "clash" began when at least two twin-engine Su-34 bombers, some of Moscow’s most advanced warplanes, struck what the Pentagon described as a “border garrison” housing around 200 U.S.-supported rebels in At Tanf on the Syrian side of the Syria-Jordan border. The rebels had been “conducting counter-ISIL operations in the area,” the Pentagon stated on June 18, using an alternative acronym for ISIS.

The United States and its allies in Syria clearly did not expect the air strike. The rebels in At Tanf are party to a shaky ceasefire agreement between rebel forces and the regime of Syrian president Bashar Al Assad—and, by extension, the Russian military contingent backing Al Assad. The Los Angeles Times reported that Russian planes had not previously been active over At Tanf.

The Su-34s’ initial strike wounded, and perhaps killed, some of the rebels in At Tanf.

The U.S. Navy scrambled F/A-18 fighters to intercept the Russians, the Los Angeles Times reported. The Navy has deployed two aircraft carriers to the region for strikes on ISIS. As the F/A-18s approached the Su-34s, officials with U.S. Central Command—which oversees America’s wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan—used a special hotline to contact their Russian counterparts directing Russia’s own intervention in Syria.


Arriving over At Tanf, the American pilots apparently spoke directly to the Russian aviators. “Pilots CAN communicate with one another on a communications channel set up to avoid air accidents,” Central Command confirmed in a statement to The Daily Beast.


Washington and Moscow had established the hotline as part of a so-called “Safety of Flight Memorandum of Understanding” that the two governments signed in October specifically in order to avoid the kind of aerial confrontation that occurred over Syria last week.


With the American jets flying close enough to visually identify the Su-34s, the Russians departed the air space over At Tanf. Some time shortly thereafter, the F/A-18s ran low on fuel and left the area in order to link up with an aerial tanker. That’s when the Su-34s reportedly returned to At Tanf —and bombed the rebels again. According to the Los Angeles Times, the second strike killed first-responders assisting survivors of the first bombing run.

The next day, senior U.S. Defense Department officials organized an “extraordinary” video conference with Russian counterparts to discuss the incident. The meeting included Acting Assistant Secretary for International Security Affairs Elissa Slotkin and U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, a strategic planner on the Pentagon’s joint staff, plus unspecified Russian Ministry of Defense officials.

Confusion and anger followed: “Department officials expressed strong concerns about the attack on the coalition-supported counter-ISIL forces at the At Tanf garrison, which included forces that are participants in the cessation of hostilities in Syria, and emphasized that those concerns would be addressed through ongoing diplomatic discussions on the cessation of hostilities,” Defense Department spokesman Peter Cook explained in a statement.

"Regarding safety, department officials conveyed that Russia’s continued strikes at At Tanf, even after U.S. attempts to inform Russian forces through proper channels of on-going coalition air support to the counter-ISIL forces, created safety concerns for U.S. and coalition forces,” Cook continued. “Department officials requested Russian responses to address those concerns.”

Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov confirmed, via the country’s state-owned media, that the teleconference took place—but he did not specify the results of the “extraordinary” meeting.

The Daily Beast concludes that it’s not clear how close the U.S. fighters came to attacking and potentially shooting down the Su-34s over At Tanf. Central Command declined to say what the rules of engagement are for American pilots flying over Syria. “ROE are actually specifics that we don’t get into,” Central Command said in a statement. The last time a U.S. military warplane shot down a Russian—actually, Soviet—plane was in 1953, over Korea or China, depending on which historians you believe. The last time a Russian or Soviet warplane shot down an American aircraft was in 1970, when a U.S. Army plane strayed over Armenia.

So was this "most provocative act since Moscow’s air campaign in Syria began last year", according to US officials, the last one, or will Russian strikes continue to hit US-supported, Al qaeda-linked "rebels" around Syria, forcing the US to retaliate and escalating the Syria war to a far more dangerous place? It remains to be seen, although if it is the intention of the two superpowers to provoke and dramatically ramp up hostilities, this appears to be the likley outcome. And if last year's fiasco involving the Turkish downing of  Russian jet is any indication, that may be just the geopolitical catalyst to rekindle the middle-east war which over the past several months has become oddly dormant, something that is certainly not in the interest of the military industrial complex around the globe.

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lolmao500's picture

This was last week. What happened yesterday is much worse. Russian planes bombed US special ops in Syria.

Russia/US military are on high alert. Russia moving a lot of troops around.

Obama trying to act though.... the mofo is gonna start ww3 to protect his ISIS buddies

hedgeless_horseman's picture

Entire waves of American aircraft were blasted out of the skies because the Vietnamese fired ceaseless barrages of SAMs, knowing more Russian supplies were on their way. “In August 1965, the first SAMs were fired at four F-4 Phantoms over Vietnam, shooting down three. This marked the first time that US planes were attacked by SAMs,” writes Blagov.


US strategic bombers tumbled out of the skies after being hit by Russian-supplied SAMs (the granddaddies of today’s S-300 and S-400 missiles). Russian crews fired SAMs at the B-52 bombers, which were the first raiders shot down over Hanoi. A Soviet rocketeer told Russian Radio: “After our arrival in Vietnam, American pilots refused to fly.” (However, after 1966, no Soviet troops directly participated in combat because the Vietnamese forces had been trained to handle the Soviet equipment, the Russian magazine Eko Planety – Echo of the Planet – says.)


Jets that survived these brutal knockouts were picked out by Vietnamese Air Force aces flying MiG-17s and MiG-21s; these combat aircraft were vectored towards their targets by Russian-supplied radars.


To give you an idea of just what the Vietnamese were up against, in 1965 just 30 MiGs were doing combat against 660 American aircraft. And yet the Americans lost 46 F-4 fighters, of which 13 were downed by MiGs.


Never forget?

Vietnam Veterans couldn't give a fuck about America's perpetual warfare

nibiru's picture

I guess it's a buffer zone so they can check out their new toys. Let's be honest when was the last war they could check Russian gear in person? 


Also, China may soon enough be also in. You know, 1.3bn people and hypersonic drones have to be tried somewhere, right?

ACES FULL's picture

Interesting body language in that photo.

nibiru's picture

I can only see one guy that lost a lot during the war and another guy who pushed the first fella into huge debt and will tax the hell out of him throughout the rest of his life.


War is the reason for debt. Debt is there for control and with the control, you no longer need approval ratings. You just fleece your consenting sheep. 

WTFRLY's picture

Cue the escalation. Zion empire is backed into a corner.

Gaius Frakkin' Baltar's picture

That's okay, I'm sure the muslim HNIC will invite over the survivors so they can rape more White women.

Meanwhile, the faggots and cuckolds at the pentagram will pat themselves on the back for a job well done fucking over the middle east as they salute the muslim HNIC.

HenryHall's picture

>> Russian planes bombed US special ops in Syria.


If they want to be part of the ceasefire they have to sign up for the ceasefire and disclose their positions.

If they don't sign up for the ceasefire disclosing their positions then they can expect to be bombed.

It really is as simple as that.

Gonzogal's picture

Especially sine the US/HATO have not been invited onto Syrian territory, the very fact they are there to be bombed is in violation of International Law...but then again when was the last time we heard the US obeying international law!?

researchfix's picture

But how can they understand that, special people the are?

conscious being's picture

Here's the Moon of Alabama headline and link that describes Kerry-Cohn's double dealing, the attack being the Russian solution.

Syria - Russian Surprise Attack Blows Up Kerry's Delaying Tactic

Don't fuck with the Russians. They don't make threats.

bid the soldiers shoot's picture

Russia asked them to do so 3 months ago.

They got no reply.

iAmerican's picture

Pair of traitors: Nixon was a, no doubt blackmailed, closet-queen and, with GHW Bush, principal/field supervisor in the Roman Catholic CIA's adjudicated assassination of President Kennedy to restore Rome's FedScam and "reverse" NSAM263's military withdrawal order after 120 of us had died as papal catspaw; adulterer, "Married to the Mob" McCain, Annapolis penultimate "Goat" who threw away five perfectly good planes, including needlessly and stupidly over Hanoi, named "Songbird" by his captors, was Roman Catholic raised on Capitol Hill whose admiral grandfather was relieved of command for the deaths of a shipful of sailors during WW2 and whose admiral father supported JFK's assassins' killing millions of innocent Asians for the lies of traitors' fighting America-loving, "whig" Jeffersonian Ho Chi Minh on behalf of the five percent Roman Catholic colonial false-elite of Vietnam which owned 95% of Vietnam's wealth.

War Machine's picture

Rome's Fed Scam?

Catholic CIA?

Are you idiot or are you shill?

Think very carefully before you answer.

iAmerican's picture

You are a stranger to God and no American, agent.

conscious being's picture

Wow, War Machine, you got redbombed for that? This shows how much the ZH posters have changed over time. The current crop appearently doesn't realize that the assassinated Kennedy was a Catholic.

DutchResistance's picture

Ed Snowden was pretty involved with the CIA.  I guess it was all cool for awhile with him too.

BorisTheBlade's picture

Was John McCain a prototype for Forest Gump? In this photo he surely looks retarded enough to bend over and show his ass to Nixon. Although I'm sure he didn't carry any comrades out from under friendly napalm strike. Sorry Forrest, you didn't deserve to be compared to McCain.

Freddie's picture

Roger Stone - Nixon said "If George Bush ever become President - he will destroy America."

Watergate was because Nixon wanted to raise tariffs and the Rockefellers were alarmed.  This is Jon Rappaport theory. 

David R was OSS and in WW2.  My guess is the See Eye Aye was a Rockfefeller creation like Mi6 is a Rothschild creation.   James Bond actually works for the Red Shield.  License to kill and all that shit.  T.E. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia creating phony Arabs to fight the Turks grab the oil for BP/Red Shield.

Anyway, Nixon got Watergate and the main deep throat leaker was most likely not that guy came out after he death recently but See EYE Aye George Bush.  Nixon knew he was a snake.   The See Eye Aye handed Ben Bradley at Was Post (another See Eye Aye stooge and stooge newspaper) all the goods on Nixon. Bernstein and Woodward just typed it all up.

Any President's who threaten Central Banksters and banks are killed. 

Reagan was a Hinckley/Bush operation.  Romneys are close to Hinckleys.  Hinckleys run World Vision a See Eye Aye Front.

Connected to the Clinton Foundation, Bushes, Romneys etc.  So you wonder who Romney hates Trump so much and also Bushes hated Reagan.

Here is a good new one from Jon Rappaport on why the Cia may dump the Clintons.

I still think Rockefellers have control over See Eye Aye but who killed David's doctor son by sabotaging his turbopro plane about 1 year ago.


Kirk2NCC1701's picture

McCain's biggest accomplishment is being born into the right family (Admiral's son).

The Gun Is Good's picture

We can't forget the Forrestal incident....

iAmerican's picture


McCain committed the mass-murder of 134 officers and men on the USS Forrestal. Covered up because he was a "prince" of our ruling satanic JFK-assassinating, 9/11-committing, Orlando-staging ZioTalmud/papist/homosexual pedophile/Masonic false-elite.

Freddie's picture

The whole McCain family are evil scum. Daddy Admiral was the one who recalled F-4 Phantoms sent to aid the USS Liberty.  LBJ and McCain sold out the USS Liberty crew.

Then Admiral McCain had a slow speed by US Navy to get to the USS Liberty hoping most o fthe crew would be dead.  Who were the first people to arrive to try to help aid the dying sailors?   The Russian (Christians) navy.

F the McCain's.   Someone ssaid he is a Jesuit black hand stooge for the zios.

Onan_the_Barbarian's picture

Who?  You mean "Wet Start" McCain?  Nah, couldn''t be him.

rejected's picture

Like everything else it seems, an entire group is demonized because of a few assholes. When flying Medivac in Vietnam I saw first hand what war was about and no this Vietnam vet has been against every unconstitutional and just plain wrong war since returning in 1969. It's those same assholes wearing the flag and their baseball caps glorifying war that made me not want anything to do with any of those veterans organizations.

Your wrong to include all of us because of the few you met.

PS: I did not downvote you as in a free country you have freedom of speech, right or wrong I suppose.

hedgeless_horseman's picture


Your wrong to include all of us

I am sorry that I made you feel this way.  Of course, I understand there are exceptional men like you. Here are my exact words in contect.

Given these parallel narratives, I am trying to comprehend the reality that it seems like Vietnam Veterans couldn't give a fuck about America's perpetual warfare in Afghanistan, or Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Ukraine.

I appreciate your comment.

How have you spoken out against America's wars of the last 20 years?

rejected's picture

Constantly,,, in fact I was called an Iraqi lover and sometimes spat at by fellow workers during the first Iraqi encounter. As you probably know, it is useless trying to change the program everyone seems to have accepted. As I do not have the privilege to post articles on websites such as ZH like some, I have done the best I can within my peer group. So no, I can't boast like you.

In 1967 there was no internet,,, only MSM. At 17 with little reference I was bullshitted like about everybody else and bought into the crap about communism and the domino theory. A few years after my return I finally started to research and slowly figured out the scam. When McNamara admitted the scam, that was the end of my ever believing anything the government had to say. 

That said, I do not think it right you accuse an entire group over the few you met, In that group I can assume you also include the poor propagandized bastards that died and those that are homeless and victims of the Veterans hospitals to this day? Your blanket statement would seem so.

It's your right to say these things, but to then ask me or others to prove ourselves. Pretty uppity.

hedgeless_horseman's picture


As you probably know, it is useless trying to change the program everyone seems to have accepted.

I respectfully disagree.


hongdo's picture

Please explain the lever point.

Tarzan's picture

I don't know what's more offensive,
that you question Rejected,
as if to compare your greatness and his,

or that you lump the Vietnam vets together as if they all speak with one voice for more war.

They wear their jackets and patches in memory so we never forget the men we lost, there friends and family, not to promote the war they fought.

I suppose next time I'm through DC I should avoid all the warmongers in Arlington, and skip visiting my fathers empty tomb, to change things, like the great horsemen...

IndyPat's picture

None more uppity than this fuck.

If you're lucky, maybe he'll share a picture of what he's having for dinner tonight!
I shiver with anticipation. Totally.
'Cuz we just can't get enough about the wonderful rustic, yet refined life of the HH.

And all his deep reflections on a war he read some stuff about...

froze25's picture

As if there are moderate rebels.

Freddie's picture

Endless NeoCon Deep State bankster stooges for endless war.   Recently a friend of someone I know and I also knew this person.  Spec Ops in Vietnam doing 4 tours.  A really nice man.  Died early of cancer and I am sure Agent Orange was part of it.

I have massive sympathy for Vietnam Vets who were drafted.  Those who signed on voluntarily for the Bushes, Clintons and Obola's endless wars do not get much sympathy from me.

I hope LBJ, McNamara and those who supported yet another mindless war are burning in hell.  This also includes the big Obama supporters and scam artists Crown-Krinsky family major shareholders of GD.  They backed LBJ and Obola.

Don't forget the Bushes were also part of WW2, Vietnam (poppy-JFK-LBJ connection - Nixon hated Poppy), Iraq 1 AND 2 AND aFGHANISTAN.

Volkodav's picture

search this.....US Air Losses Vietnam War

also...Air Aces of Vietnam War

Freddie's picture

I think it was Col. Fletcher Prouty (Mr. X in JFK movie) who said post WW2 in Asia he was talking to a supply (Navy) cheif or sargent.

Prouty has a lot of video on You Tube. He died in 2001.  Theya re all worth checking out.

He said the supply cheif was shipping US weapons after WW2.  Prouty asked where they were going.  He was told Korea and IndoChina (Vietnam).  These wars are planned years in advance.

The one fellow mentioning Catholics and Vietnam is on the mark in that the French had rubber plantations there. 

Dien Ben Phu where France finally lost to the Viet Mihn (CIA backed) was due to teh French and local tribesman in a tiff over hero/opium production.  The French pissed them off or USA/CiA offered them a better deal.

Narcotics is a huge business.  The elites started it as far back as China and opium trade.

Vietnam was a lot about drugs.  Clintons, Bushes/See Eye Aye know all about trafficking in drugs.  Obola comes from a main transhipping drug city Chicago.

IronForge's picture

You may be jumping to conclusions there, HH:

Many Veterans are indeed concerned about where this Racket is headed.

AlaricBalth's picture

Russia bombed some "moderate" rebels. Isn't moderate rebel an oxymoron? If I'm going to financially support rebels they better be crazed lunatics or else its like sending in the powderpuff football team against the varsity.

Kirk2NCC1701's picture


1. ALL 'Rebels' are Enemies of the Syrian state, and thus fair game.

2. The US has NO legal jurisdiction or claim to entering Syrian territory, since it lacks permission from the Syrian Gov and is actually supporting the Rebels.

3. Russia has the legal right to target any perceived threat, whether the US likes it or not.


Stay focused on what's Relevant, not on what's entertaining or worthy of a daytime talk show chat, ZHers.

Bay of Pigs's picture

Yeah, but when do they send Maverick and Iceman up there to tangle with the awful Russians?

IndyPat's picture

I think the preferred nomenclature is (omitted).

The Russians bombed (omitted). Or a cartoon cat. Or something.

HowdyDoody's picture

The Russians bombed Hello Kitty? OMFG?!?!?!


tenpanhandle's picture

The crazed lunitics are running the USofA.

J S Bach's picture

At least one side is honest and up-front about who they're backing.