Is Syria Wagging the Russian Dog?

The U.S. has shot down a Syrian Su-22 near Ja'Din and close to the strategic dam at Al Tabqa.  The Sukhoi 22M series, the model in the Syrian inventory, is an old and relatively slow aircraft primarily used for bombing targets.  First produced in 1970, the Russians improved the model over the twenty years it was manufactured (until 1990).  It is entirely noncompetitive against top U.S. jet fighters including the F-18 that shot down the Syrian Sukhoi. It is unlikely the Syrian pilot had any warning before being shot out of the sky.  Indeed, the warning issue is what is at the heart of the dispute between Russia and the United States, and it may tell us more than the Russians would like us to know about their unstable relationship with Syria. According to the Combined Joint Task Force official report, at around 4:30 P.M. Syria time, there was a Syrian attack on Ja'Din which was held by the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF. The SDF is...(Read Full Article)