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Saturday, August 20, 2016

U.S. scrambles jets to protect its advisers in Syria

The United States-led coalition scrambled fighters to protect U.S. advisers working with Kurdish forces after Syrian regime jets bombed the area, in the latest escalation of Syria's bloody conflict, the Pentagon said Friday.

Thursday's air strike, conducted by two Syrian SU-24 attack planes, targeted Kurdish forces who were undergoing training from U.S. special operations advisers in the area around the northeastern city of Hasakeh, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said.

In a bid to intercept the Syrian jets, the coalition scrambled its own jets to the area, but the regime planes had left by the time they arrived.

"This was done as a measure to protect coalition forces," Davis said, according to the AFP news agency.

"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 utmost seriousness and we do have the inherent right of self-defense," he added. READ MORE