by James Holbrooks, Underground Reporter:
While Russian airstrikes pound rebel-controlled parts of Aleppo in northwestern Syria, last Thursday saw U.S. jets scrambled to “protect coalition forces” from Syrian fighter jets in the northeastern village of Hasaka, according to state broadcasting service Voice of America.
“A city in northeastern Syria has become a flashpoint in the country’s civil war as Syrian warplanes attack Kurdish forces Thursday,” reports VOA, “and the United States responded by sending in its own aircraft to protect U.S. coalition forces in the area.”
A Pentagon spokesman said Russia claims it had no part in the Hasaka strikes and that, regarding Russia, “we made clear that coalition aircraft would defend its troops on the ground if threatened.”
Eyes have been on Russia of late, after it was revealed that Russia was using an Iranian air base to launch strikes in Aleppo, highlighting a cooperative military relationship between the two countries. The move prompted TIME to declare a new “axis of evil” of Russian, Syrian, and Iranian forces had arrived. Russia claims to have since stopped using that base.
As the story broke about U.S. jets scrambling in northeast Syria, Japan announced it was seeking a massive upgrade to its F-15 fighters that would double their payload capacity. China, which sees Japan’s arming up as taking an offensive posture, issued a warning to Japan weeks back.
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