US commander threatens Russia after airstrike hits near US Spec Ops

A U.S. military special operator directs an A10 Thunderbolt airstrike in Syria.

Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend is warning Russia and Syria to steer clear of areas where coalition troops are located.

The new US Commander of American troops in Iraq and Syria is speaking on the record about the increased possibility of ‘direct conflict’ in the wake of an incident several days ago.

On Thursday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used warplanes to attack an area close to where US special operations forces were operating in support of Kurdish forces. The US was forced to scramble fighter jets to protect them. There was apparently no radio contact between the Syrian jets and the US aircraft.

The Pentagon is reportedly furious with Damascus and Moscow over the recent move.

A senior US military official told CNN, “If the Syrians try this again, they are at great risk of losing an aircraft.”

The Daily Mail reports that the US relayed the message to Syria through its ally, Russia. The Russians and Syrians have been warned that the US will take “Whatever action is necessary to defend US forces.”

Townsend told CNN that in the coming weeks, Arab and Kurdish fighters could be moving into areas around Raqqa, the ISIS-proclaimed capital in Syria.

US forces have been training Kurds and Arabs to fight ISIS in the region. Up to 300 US special operations forces have been deployed to Syria to work with the Syrian Democratic Forces.

In recent days, Syrian government forces have been bombing Kurdish-controlled-areas of Hassakeh, in northern Syria — forcing scores of residents to flee the city.

Townsend says he is confident that the US and its allies will “defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria in this next year.”

“I want them dead or on the run in a hole somewhere in the desert, and significantly less of a threat,” he said.

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  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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